(opposite of decoding)
1. In interpersonal and mass communication, the process of producing messages by adapting to the affordances of the medium, together with any relevant genres and discourse conventions (such as register), drawing upon appropriate textual and social codes likely to be shared by the intended decoders, bearing in mind appropriate communicative relationships, and in face-to-face interaction framing communication within the specific context in which it takes place. Thus, not only are messages encoded, but also the values, beliefs, and assumptions of the encoders.
2. In some semiotic discourse, the perceptual process of making sense of reality: see also perceptual codes.
3. The process of converting information systematically into another form using a code (see analogue; digital).
4. In cognitive psychology, the transformation of an external stimulus into an internal representation. Four stages have been postulated: preattentive analysis (combining features into recognizable objects), focal attention (conscious representation), comprehension, and elaboration. See also mental representation.