Edward T. Hall has developed a theory which treats culture as a form of communication. (Anthropology)
There are three basic modes or levels; formal, informal, and technical.
Formal activities are acquired by precept and admonition. "I don't know how I know it is, but I know it when I see it." Correction is made with overtones of "good" and "bad" affect. No reasons can be given to say why what is wrong is wrong. Deviation from the correct form is literally "unthinkable"; it does not occur to us to deviate.
Informal activities are acquired through example. Models are imitated. The models are used without knowledge of patterns or rules which govern the models. Alternate models coexist.
Technical activities are acquired through the explicit communication of analyzed structure and form, and of applicable principles and rules.
Man progresses from formal belief to informal adaptation and finally to technical analysis. (p. 28)
Source: Edward T. Hall, The Silent Language, 1959, Anchor Books Edition (1973), Doubleday, New York.