Wiio's laws are humoristically formulated observations about how humans communicate.
The fundamental Wiio's law states that "Communication usually fails, except by accident". The full set of laws is as follows:
- Communication usually fails, except by accident.
- If communication can fail, it will.
- If communication cannot fail, it still most usually fails.
- If communication seems to succeed in the intended way, there's a misunderstanding.
- If you are content with your message, communication certainly fails.
- If a message can be interpreted in several ways, it will be interpreted in a manner that maximizes the damage.
- There is always someone who knows better than you what you meant with your message.
- The more we communicate, the worse communication succeeds.
- The more we communicate, the faster misunderstandings propagate.
- In mass communication, the important thing is not how things are but how they seem to be.
- The importance of a news item is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.
- The more important the situation is, the more probable you had forgotten an essential thing that you remembered a moment ago.
- Osmo A. Wiio (1978). Wiion lait - ja vähän muidenkin (Wiio's laws - and some others). Weilin+Göös. ISBN 951-35-1657-1.
- Korpela, Jukka Kalervo [in Finnish] (2010). "A commentary of Wiio's laws". IT and communication. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- Flauaus, Joeyn (2009). "Principles of communication" (PDF). The Write Stuff. European Medical Writers Association. 18 (4): 246.