What Are the Models of Communication?

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What Are the Models of Communication?

Communication models are theoretical or conceptual frameworks that explain how people communicate. It also symbolizes the complete communication process between the sender and the receiver. The communication model aims to respond to the 5Ws and 1H queries, such as what is it? Who is a part of this procedure? When is it going to happen? What is the location of the event? What causes it to happen? Finally, how does it take place?

Communication models also describe the elements of the communication process, such as context, sender, receiver, encoding, decoding, channel, message, feedback, and noise. These are the nine communication components that describe the entire communication process. However, some communication models do not have all of these characteristics or qualities. The linear communication paradigm, for example, does not include feedback. The communication model also describes the variables obstructing efficient communication, sometimes known as communication obstacles or noise. Effective communication procedures are hampered by communication hurdles or noise.

1. Concept of Communication

Communication is defined as the exchange of thoughts, ideas, points of view, emotions, and expressions between two or more people to obtain meaningful feedback. The following are some of the elements of communication:


1. The participants in communication are the communicators (sender/receiver).
2. A message is a single, unbroken utterance (verbal or non-verbal).
3. A code is a set of instructions for creating or transmitting messages through a particular medium.
4. Encryption (put into code)
5. Decryption (take out of code)
6. The communication is transmitted over a channel, which is a specific method.
7. The type of code used is determined by the medium, which is the form of communication technology
8. Interference with the message is referred to as noise.
9. An environment is a setting that surrounds a message and serves as a foundation for its interpretation.
10. The effect of messages is checked through feedback.

Redundancy in communication ensures that a message is not lost in translation, and it prevents failure to convey information. For example, half of what is said is intelligible in most spoken and written languages. The same applies to radio news commentators. Even one-half of their messages are generally understandable. In the same way, a person can perceive information by interpreting the words of the person who has spoken or written them.

2. Understanding Communication

The importance of communication, as one of the most necessary factors required to lead a proper professional and personal life, is difficult to put into words. Let us first obtain an understanding of the three basic types of communication to grasp what information transmission means nowadays and to comprehend communication models:

· Communication via the written word (Letters, emails, reports, memos along with other documents)

· Oral communication (either in person or via phone or video call)

· Communication that is not verbal (Using gestures, actions, expression, body movements, etc.) Although it is less popular or in use than the other two, it is an equally significant means of communication.

3. Models of Communication

  • Linear models – only look at one-way communication.
  • Interactive models – look at two-way communication.
  • Transactional models – look at two-way communication where the message gets more complex as the communication event (e.g., conversation) progresses.

There are around eight models which come under these three main categories of models: linear, interactive, and transactional. These eight models are taught in the communication course in colleges. These models are as given below:

1. The Linear Model of Communication

The linear communication model is a one-way interaction with no feedback. The linear communication model is the most common, and the transactional model is built on top. Without receiving feedback, the sender connects with the receiver, and it also depicts a one-way communication mechanism.

There are four recognized types of linear communication models

 2. Aristotle’s Model

The communication paradigm of Aristotle, which dates from 300BC, is the earliest. The model was created to look into improving one’s communication skills and persuasion abilities. To determine how best to communicate, Aristotle suggests examining five elements of a communication event: speaker, speech, occasion, target audience, and effect. He also highlighted three elements that will help in communication: ethos (trustworthiness), pathos (ability to connect), and logos (the ability to communicate) (logical argument). The role of feedback in communication is not addressed in Aristotle’s paradigm.

3. Lasswell’s Model

 Lasswell’s communication model attempts to comprehend a communication event by posing five key questions. It examines who sent the message (and their potential bias), what they said, how they said it (e.g., TV, radio, blog), who they said it to, and how it affected the receiver. This technique is helpful because it offers a straightforward and practical means of criticizing a message and investigating five key factors that might assist explain the event in further depth

4. The Shannon Weaver Model

Communication is divided into five parts in the Shannon-Weaver model: sender, encoder, channel, decoder, and receiver. It underlines the need for message encoding and decoding to send them (e.g., turning them into written words, Morse code, etc.). ‘Noise’ happens throughout the encoding, transmission, and decoding processes, which can disrupt or cloud a message. This might be as simple as static on a radio broadcast or as complex as mishearing a conversation or misspelling an email. The role of noise in the communication process was first introduced in this model.

5. Berlo’s SMCR Model

Source, Message, Channel, and Receiver are the four steps in Berlo’s communication model. Berlo’s approach is unique in that it thoroughly explains the main elements that will determine how well the message is transmitted at each step.
The sender’s communication skills, attitude, and culture are all examples of source elements.
The message’s content, structure, and code are all message elements.
Hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, and other senses are all part of the channel.
The receiver’s attitude, expertise, and culture are all critical factors to consider.

4. The Interactive Models of Communication

The interactive communication model refers to a two-way communication system that includes feedback. However, because feedback is not instantaneous, it is sluggish and indirect. When receivers do not respond to senders, communication might become linear. The interactive communication model denotes both mediated and internet-based communication.
There are two interactive models of communication

1. Schram’s Model

The first model, the Schramm model, explains that the sender and receiver have a similar role in the process of communication. In this model, the sender channels the message, while the receiver becomes the original sender. The feedback in the Schramm model is not simultaneous; it is not simultaneous. Using the correct code is essential to communicating effectively.

2. The Westley and Maclean Model

 Emphasizes the necessity of communication feedback. It does, however, underline the importance of environmental and cultural aspects in communication. It demonstrates that who we are, our background, and the perspective we approach issues all influence what we say and communicate. The model considers the sender’s and receiver’s object of orientation (background, culture, and beliefs). It also evaluates how the communication was received and sent in a larger social context that must be taken into account to know and interpret the message.

5. The Transactional Models of Communication

The transitional communication model appears to be a two-way process with instantaneous feedback. Transactional Communication is a type of communication that involves the exchange of messages, information, and signals. In this model, the sender and recipient share the same social environment. Simultaneous feedback is a critical component of transitional communication models. As a result, the communication process will not become transactional if there is no feedback. The feedback is immediate and direct, and the receiver feels forced to respond right away. Indirect and direct feedback is the primary differences between the interactive and transactional models.
There are two types of transactional models

1. Barnlund’s Model

Barnlund’s Transactional Concept of Communication is a model that looks at interpersonal communication with instant feedback. The premise that the sender’s feedback is the receiver’s response is at the heart of this strategy. This paradigm also emphasizes the impact of ‘cues’ on our messaging. Berglund emphasizes the importance of both public and private clues, which include environmental cues and a person’s inner beliefs and background. Berglund’s paradigm emphasizes the factors that influence what we believe and say by focusing on cues.

2. Dance’s Helical Model

 it expands on circular models by describing how we use feedback to better our messaging over time. When we communicate with people, we will be influenced by what they say.

Each contact cycle gives us new knowledge, allowing us to ‘extend our circle,’ as depicted by the ever-widening rings. Because communication does not precisely replicate itself, the movement up the spiral suggests that each communication exercise is fresh and different from the preceding.

6. Iceberg Model of Non-Verbal Communication

The iceberg model is a standard model of communication that tries to explain the non-verbal aspects of our interactions. The idea of levels of consciousness, first introduced by Sigmund Freud, is incorporated into this model. According to Paul Watzlawick, between 10 and 20 percent of our communication is transmitted at a factual level. The remaining 90 percent falls on a relationship level. How we interpret the meaning of that message is determined by the receiver.

Paul Watzlawick developed the iceberg model based on the four-ear model and Sigmund Freud’s core subconscious concept. It is assumed that the factual level of communication, which includes information, statistics, data, and facts, accounts for only 10% to 20% of all communication. The remaining 80–90% are unconscious and cannot be expressed verbally. This is where the connection level, the attraction level, or the self-barrier level come into play, allowing non-verbal aspects like gestures, facial expressions, and other non-verbal elements to flow unintentionally into the conversation. Conflicts might emerge if the factual and relationship levels are not harmonized.

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