What Are Environmental Cues?

Environmental cues have several different definitions depending upon in which context they are being utilized. In general context, environmental cues are defined as the external surrounding and conditions in which people live and work and which has a direct effect on people`s behaviour, communication and decision making power. In terms of ecology, environmental cues can be defined as the external surroundings in which a plant or an animal lives and that those surroundings play an important role in influencing and effecting their growth and development behaviour.

These environmental cues effect our movements more than we can anticipate. Sometimes these cues even determine the extent of our reaction to some event which we didn’t know before. Environmental cues are divided into many aspects and situations which can affect our communication.

Different Environmental Cues And Their Influence On Expectation For Communication:

There are many types of environmental cues related to both the surrounding and the occupants in it. Following are the list of a few environmental cues and their effects on communication:

  • One of the examples of an environmental cue is the influence of your surrounding on your decision making power. Consider if you are sitting in a restaurant, the chances of you clearing away your tray depends most likely upon the trend around you. If you saw that all the tables around you are clean then you will be inclined to keep your table clean too. If it were opposite then you wouldn’t even bother to do clean after yourself because it would blend in the environment. Everything around you sends your brain a signal to act accordingly and even if your behavioural pattern isn’t naturally like that you will still be forced to communicate according to your environment.
  • Another example of environmental cues is the lesser obvious changes around us which aren’t verbal. Like the movement something around, shift of weight, change in atmosphere, sensitivity to sound etc. These non-verbal cues are transmitted especially through living beings like us and the animals. Your dog is sick and he is looking expectedly at you to do something about it even if he hadn’t looked at you, you would still leave all your work and tend to your dog. These types of cues have strong impact on how we behave or communicate with someone. Consider you like someone and they seem to be comfortable around you than anyone else, you would automatically relax and be in a good mood; your communication with that person would be more lenient and casual.
  • Sometimes due to the great influence of environmental factors on our behaviour, many sales strategies are developed around this very phenomenon. Consider buying something online, the chances of your buying something online depends on many factors; how long does it take to access the website? Are the details of the product you want to buy readily available or not? Is the whole process effortless? Customers tend to buy anything online only when the process is easy. So the online platforms make their websites less intricate, less surrounded with unwanted ads so that it doesn’t turn the customer off.

Communication doesn’t depend only about how and what you want to communicate. It is highly influenced of every slightest thing around us and plays a big role in culminating a collective reaction from us.

Environmental Cues And Their Influence On Expectation For Communication