Communication can be a very difficult thing to understand. When you say something to another person only to be misunderstood entirely. Ever wonder what makes this communication process work and what factors influence it? You can find your answers by learning about the various models of communication.
To learn more about these 8 communication models developed over thousands of years. These 8 models of communication are divided into three models of communication, and they are.
- Linear Models of Communications.
- Interactive Models of Communications.
- Transactional Models of Communication.
Linear Models Of Communication
According to linear models of communication, the introduction of communication takes place in one direction. Therefore, you can say that no feedback takes place. These are the earliest communication models to be created. They are:
1. Aristotle’s Model Of Communication
This is one of the first models of communication, created way back in 300 BC. He created this model to make people understand the communication process and become more persuasive and influential. This model became widely accepted as the basic knowledge for all public speakers in Greece during his era.
This model focuses on one-way communication. Here, the various elements of the communication process are:
Speaker > Speech > Audience > Effect
Here, communication starts with the speaker. After they say something (the speech), it reaches the audience (listener). Depending on what the speaker has said, it will have an effect and induce a reaction from the listener.
2. Laswell’s Model Of Communication
Laswell’s Model of Communication can be seen today as an improvement of Aristotle’s model of communication. Compared to the previous model, there is only one significant change – the addition of mediums.
The elements of Laswell model of communication are:
Communicator > Message > Medium > Receiver > Effect
Here, the communicator (speaker) says something (message) to the receiver (listener) through a medium (process). This is done in order to induce an effect (feedback) on the receiver.
Therefore, unlike Aristotle’s model, this model includes written forms of communication. This is because the medium of communication can be verbal or nonverbal (written or sign language).
3. Shannon – Weaver’s Model Of Communication
Shannon -Weaver’s model of communication is an update of Laswell’s Model of communication. Here, the inclusion of barriers to communication, like noise, has been introduced in the cycle. In addition, this model includes encoding and decoding of messages.
The elements of this model of communication are
Sender > Encoder > Channel > Decoder > Receiver^Noise
Here, we can see that the sender of the message sends a message after encoding it (verbal or sign language) through a medium (channel). This message then needs to be decoded (using the ear and brain) by the receiver in communication. However, some form of obstacle can exist in the channel, like noise (verbal).
4. Berlo’s SMCR Model Of Communication
According to Berlo’s SMCR Model of communication, communication takes place using four elements. These four elements are
Source > Message > Channel > Receiver
However, this model is not as simple as it looks. Here, each element is affected by five different factors that influence the communication process as a whole. These factors are
🡪 Communication skills
🡪 Social system
🡪 Communication skills
🡪 Social system
Interactive Models Of Communication
An interactive model of communication refers to a communication model where the receiver provides feedback to the sender. However, most interactive models acknowledge the fact that feedback is slow and can be indirect.
The various interactive models of communication are:
5. Osgood – Schramm’s Model Of Communication
This model of communication is used to describe the various facets of interpersonal and synchronous communication. However, this model cannot be used to describe linear communication with no feedback.
The elements of Osgood – Schramm’s model of communication are:
Encoder/Interpreter/Decoder > Message < Encoder/Interpreter/Decoder
Here, Wilbur Schramm describes communication as a two-way process where both the speaker and the listener encode, interpret, and decode the messages sent. Here, everyone in the communication process encodes (speaks using mouth), interprets, and decodes (with ear and brain) the messages.
Osgood and Schramm describe communication as a continuous process here. Therefore, messages are sent back and forth between the sender and the receiver.
6. Westley – McLean’s Model Of Communication
The models of communication so far have described communication as a conversation between two people. However, this model breaks the status quo by describing mass communication. Therefore, this model can be used to describe the communication of ideas through newspapers.
The elements of this model of communication are:
Environmental Factors / Sensory Experience > [Sender > Gatekeeper > Receiver]
Here, the sender of the message sends the message to the receiver through a gatekeeper (referring to news editors). However, their messages are influenced by external environmental factors. Here, environmental factors refer to various events that are witnessed by reporters.
Transactional Models Of Communication
A transactional model of communication takes into consideration that communication is a dynamic process. Here, the sender and the receiver of messages are referred to as communicators. In addition, the message being sent is referred to as a transaction since it has feedback too.
The various transactional models of communication are:
7. Barnlund’s Model Of Communication
Barnlund’s model is one of the most complex models of communication. This model sees communication as an interpersonal way of sending messages to each other. Moreover, it has several layers, and feedback is typically made immediately.
The primary components of this model of communication are:
Public / Private / Behavioral Cues > [Communicator (Encoder / Decoder) > Channel (Message) < Communicator (Encoder / Decoder)]
Here, we can see that the communicators (all of them being encoders and decoders) send messages to each other through a channel of communication. However, their communication is affected by public, private, and behavioral cues.
This model can be used to describe face-to-face communication and meetings in detail.
8. Dance Helical Model Of Communication
The Dance Helical model of communication can be used to describe a very unconventional communication model. Here, the entire model can be picturized by using a conical or helical spiral that goes downwards.
This is a unique model that does not directly specify the communicators of messages. Here, the helical spiral represents the notion that communication is constantly evolving and is like a spiral. With every message being sent back and forth, our perception and knowledge of the topic change constantly. This influences the next message we send.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Some questions and answers related to the various models of communication are:
According to the 8-step communication process, the elements of communication in order are:
It’s important to understand models of communication. It is because it will provide you with a proper system of understanding each and every aspect of communication. In addition, it also explains how the communication cycle works.
The Barriers of communication refer to the various problems people face while communicating. The primary barriers to communication are:
🡪 External interception
🡪 Too much information
🡪 Too less knowledge of the topic
🡪 Biased perceptions
🡪 Differences in gender perceptions
The communication process is never truly complete. It is a dynamic and constantly evolving process where the communicators send messages back and forth.
All these eight models of communication have been developed over time to fully help us understand the communication process. These models have defined what communication is between individuals and between people in a group.
All eight models can be categorized under linear, interactive, and transactional models. Many of the models appear as updates to existing models of communication. With the only exception being the dance helical model of communication.
For more information on practices and models of communication, read the other posts here at Voice of Action!