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9 Examples of Overcommunication

Overcommunication is the process of communicating similar messages more than once to the same audience. The following are illustrative examples.

Selective Attention

Selective attention is the human ability to filter out meaningless information in a sea of communication.

Spacing Effect

The spacing effect is the tendency for people to remember information that they focus on multiple times over the course of days or weeks. In other words, people tend to forget things that they learn in a single day unless it is reinforced later.

Communication Complexity

Communication complexity is the amount of communication that is required to accomplish a goal. Generally speaking, this increases exponentially with the number of people involved in a process. For example, you might require 10 hours of communication to coordinate a project with two people and 1,000 hours of communication for a project of twenty people. This is due to the complexity of the social network whereby each individual must communicate what they are doing to each other member of the team.

You Can Never Overcommunicate

You can never overcommunicate is the principle that it is better to communicate important messages many times as the risk of being repetitive tends to have less impact than the risk of being ignored. This is based on selective attention and the spacing effect whereby people often fail to process or remember a message.

Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition is the process of communicating the same message at regular intervals to the same audience. This is meant to leverage the spacing effect to make communication more efficient and effective.

Massed Repetition

Massed repetition is the process of communicating the same message many times in a single location or span of time. For example, an airport that has over 1000 advertisements for the same brand. This is meant to penetrate selective attention by making something impossible to ignore.


Groups with a political agenda may repeat a message an incredible number of times based on the idea that if you repeat something enough it "becomes true."

Information Pollution

Competition to overcommunicate can create an environment that is polluted with information. For example, an employee who gets hundreds of emails a day such that they must perform a great deal of filtering to find those that are relevant to their work.


Overcommunication can lead to disengagement whereby an individual becomes hostile to your message. For example, too many meetings is a common source of employee dissatisfaction.
Overview: Overcommunication
The process of communicating similar messages more than once to the same audience.
Also Known As
Over communication
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about communication.
Action Plan
Ad Hominem
Anticipating Objections
Body Language
Building Trust
Business Comm.
Comm. Process
Civil Inattention
Devils Advocate
Direct Language
Comm. Channels
Comm. Complexity
Dumbing Down
Comm. Context
Echo Chamber
Comm. Design
Comm. Issues
Comm. Objectives
Ground Rules
Comm. Plan
High Context
Comm. Problems
Comm. Skills
Comm. Style
Low Context
Consensus Building
Media Bias
Message Framing
Digital Comm.
Moot Point
Nudge Theory
External Comm.
Plain Language
Positive Criticism
Formal Comm.
Rhetorical Question
Self Monitoring
Hypothetical Question
Informal Comm.
Information Design
Interactive Media
Internal Comm.
Mass Comm.
Media Studies
Nonverbal Comm.
Open-Ended Question
Shared Meaning
Small Talk
Social Comm.
Social Cues
Strategic Comm.
Tag Question
Target Audience
Thought Experiment
Tone Of Text
Touching Base
View From Nowhere
Word Of Mouth
More ...
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