Interactive Model Of Communication – What Does It Mean?

published on: 08 October 2022 last updated on: 16 June 2023
Interactive Model Of Communication

The interactive model of communication is one of the most famous models of communication. This model aims to explain the communication process involving the sender and receiver of the message. In addition, it considers the fact that communication can take place between a man and a machine as well.

To understand this model of communication in detail, read this article now and see its components and criticisms. A detailed example for better understanding will also be provided. It helps understand which of these is the easiest way of communication.

What Is The Interactive Model Of Communication?

According to the interactive model, the source encodes the message first. The encoded message is then gotten by the collector, where getting the first information is decoded. Once more, the beneficiary goes about as a source, encodes another message (otherwise called criticism), and sends it back to the first person.

The message development of the two sources is impacted by their “field of experience”. It is a modification factor like culture, social sciences, circumstance, and lots more. This large number of variables likewise influences the message understanding.

Concepts Of Interactive Model

Whenever a source is sending a message to the source (receiver), she/he encodes that message first. That message that got encoded was then received by the receiver, which is where it is decoded in order to get the initial information. This is the interactive model. Then it’s the receiver that behaves as the source, that encodes another message (the feedback), and sends the message back to the original sender.

The interactive model has the concept of barriers and noise to communications just like a language or network problem. This affects the overall communication process.

Interactive Model Of Communication Components

According to the interactive model of communication, communication is a two-way process. Therefore, it has various components to explain the entire communication process. These components of the model are:

1. Encoder-Source-Decoder

Every form of communication has a source and a receiver. The source or speaker refers to the person who initiates the communication with the intent of delivering a message. On the other hand, the receiver or the listener is the other person the recipient of the message. 

As per the interactive communication model, the source is considered the encoder of the message. He or she devices how the message is presented by encoding it in the form of an understandable language. On the other hand, the listener is the decoder of the message since he or she has to decode the language to understand the message.

In this component of interactive communication, the source is the person who originally sends the message, and the encoder and decoder are the same source or person. The second source is also referred to as an encoder and decoder.

When the listener decides to communicate back to the message being sent, then the roles are reversed. Then, the listener becomes the speaker and encoder, while the speaker becomes the listener and decoder.

2. Message

Every communication starts with the intention of sending a message. This information is encoded in the form of a language that needs to be decoded by the listener to understand it. This information is referred to as the message according to the interactional model of communication.

3. Feedback

Feedback is the stage where the roles of the encoder and the decoder get reversed. Here, the listener decides to respond back to the message previously sent by the speaker. This message is referred to as feedback according to the interactive model of communication

4. Field of Experience

The unique aspect of the interactive model that sets it apart from other communication models is the field of experience. This refers to the experience and knowledge both the encoder and the listener has. Therefore, this makes this model different from the transactional model of communication.

The interactive model places emphasis on this element of communication because it directly influences the encoding and decoding process. If either the encoder or the listener does not have enough experience, they will not be prosperity able to encode or decode the message.

Interactive Model Of Communication Examples

To fully understand the interactive model of communication, you must try to understand this example here:

Jack: Everyone is going to watch the movie today.

John: Are you inviting me or just informing me about this?

Jack: If you want, you can come, and if not, then it is ok not to come.

John: I would like to come!

Jack: Ok!

If you see, this is not a one-way communication example. According to the interactive model, Jack is the principal source sending the message, and John, as the listener, gets, deciphers, and offers his criticism on the message, which is then recognized by the principal source.

He currently turns into the shipper and communicates his message. As communication advances, it turns into a roundabout model as messages will be passed starting with one end and then onto the next.

Interactive Model Of Communication Criticisms

The primary criticisms of the interactive model of communication are:

1. Lack Of Simultaneous Feedback

While the interactive model acknowledges back-and-forth feedback as one of the primary essences of communication, it still misses something important. Most theorists have acknowledged the fact that it does not include simultaneous feedback as part of the communication model.

This trait makes this model great for explaining online communication but is not the best choice for direct face-to-face communication

2. Same Pattern

Most theorists have claimed that the exclusion of simultaneous communication has made this model very static. The interactive model expects that all forms of communication follow the same process of exchange of messages.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Some of the most commonly asked questions related to the Interactive model of communication are:

Q1. Why Is The Interactive Model Of Communication So Effective?

When communication models are concerned, most of the models focus either on the senders and receivers or on the message being sent. However, this model focuses more on the interaction of the people rather than what’s being said.

Q2. Why Is The Interactive Model Of Communication So Important?

It is important for people to understand the model of communication. This is because understanding the model will lead to more clear-cut communication. It will improve your communication skills with others, along with understanding what is appropriate and what is not.

Q3. Who Developed The Interactive Model Of Communication?

Harold Laswell is the creator of the interactive model of communication. He came up with this linear model of communication in 1948.

Q4. What Is The Difference Between Transactional Model And Interactive Model?

Unlike the interactive model, which suggests that participants alternate positions as sender and receiver, the transaction model suggests that we are simultaneously senders and receivers.


The interactive model of communication has two primary agents – the encoder and the decoder. According to this model of communication. The encoder sends a message to the other person in communication. Then, according to their knowledge and field of experience, the message gets understood and the listener then replies back. 

This model of communication is most effective when used to understand communication between two people through online mediums. This is because the communication perceived here is slow and methodic with back-and-forth interactions. Therefore, a common criticism of this model is its static nature and lack of dynamics, which constitutes normal communication.

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Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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