Types of communication models

May 9th, 20127:35 am


Types of communication models

Communication Models

1. Types of communication models in modern theory

2. Basic communication model and its components

1) Classical communication models

Aristotle’s speaker-centered model developed for people, who wanted to become good orators.

The speaker – discovers rational (logos), emotional (pathos) and ethical (ethos) proofs.

Arranges those proofs strategically: arrangement à style à delivery

Linear model

The Lasswell formula (1948) as a model of mass media propaganda:

Who? – Communicator

Says what? – Message

In what channel? – Channel

To whom? – Receiver

With what effect? – Effect

The Shannon-Weaver Mathematical model (1949) – it reduces communication to the process of information transmission.

Information source –messageà transmitter (encoder) –signalà channel (noise source) –received message à receiver (decoder) — message à destination





Channel Capacity

Berlo’s communication model (SMCR) (1960)





The focus is on the message, not the speaker.

Shramm’s interactive model (1954)

Message à decoder (interpreter, encoder) à message à encoder (interpreter, decoder) à message

Jacobson’s communicative model

Correlates communicative elements and language functions.

Contextual (situation)

Addresser (s)                          Message (s)                             addressee (s)

(emotive)                       (denotative/connotative)                            connotative









Non-linear model

A Helic model of communication (from Dance 1967) depicts communication as a dynamic process, which represents the evolution of individual communication from a person’s birth to the present moment.

Westley and MacLean’s conceptual model (1957): they maintained that communication doesn’t start when somebody starts to talk but rather when a person responds selectively to his immediate physical surroundings or to this sensory experience.

Certain objects are singled out for further interpretation which is transmitted to another person, who may or may not respond to some objects of orientation.

Becker’s mosaic model (1869)

Message bits

Multi-dimensional models

Ruesh and Bafeson’s functional model (1951)

Communicative functions simultaneously at 4 levels:

1) intra-personal

2) inter-personal

3) group-interaction

4) cultural level of communication

Each level consists of 4 functions:

1) evaluative

2) sending

3) receiving

4) channeling

Barnlund’s transactional model (1970): Barnlund represented communication as transactions in which communicators attribute meanings to utterances in ways that are dynamic, continuous, circular, unrepeatable, irreversible and complex.

2) Basic communicative model

Sender – an individual or group of people, who become the author of the message.

In different theories the sender is referred to as “the communicator”, “the source” or “transmitter”, “the speaker” or “the addresser”.

The sender is also known as communication encoder, who is responsible for putting the ideas of the source into the form of a code, expressing the source’s purpose in the form of the message.

Five characteristics that influence the communicative behavior of the sender:

1) communicative skills – include the ability to analyze purposes and intentions to encode messages and find the right words to express them.

They also include the knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and social conventions.

2) knowledge – of the sender’s attitudes of the ways in which messages can be produced, the choice of communicative channels and of the subject-matter.

3) social 4) cultural system – they determine the word-choices, the purpose of communication, meanings attached to certain words, choice of receivers and the choice of channels that suit a certain kind of message.

5) attitudes – consist of self-image or attribute toward self; attitude toward subject matter; attitude toward the receiver.

The message is symbols and signs that are actually transmitted in communication.

There are several layers of messages being sent:

– verbal portion, expressed in spoken or written language;

– non-verbal portion, mostly expressed in body language

Sometimes these two portions don’t agree; they are incongruent. According to Burlou the essential constituents of the message are:

– code

– content

– treatment (decisions the sender makes, while selecting and arranging the code and the content)

Intended meaning is a certain sense attached to the message in sender’s reality. The sender usually has certain experiences with the subject matter certain conclusions about it and certain perceptual filters concerning it. However, the message that travels along the channel doesn’t include all the associations a sender has about the subject matter. What crosses the distance is symbols.

When the receiver hears the message, he’ll interpret it based on his own experiences and opinions and thus arrive at the meaning he assigns to it or the receiver’s perceived meaning.

There’s a theory of speaker’s intention in communication theory, which is defined as the “speaker’s meaning” by Grice.

John Austine and John Searle considered the speaker’s intention to be the basic purpose of the speaker in making an utterence.

A Russian linguist Mykhailo Bahtin define the intention as “speaker’s design or will”; by Borys Normal as a “program of utterance”.

A Ukrainian linguist Pathetsow elaborated a formula that

Speaker’s intention + language use = speech activity

He classified intention:

– primary

– final

Relevance theory (Debora Willson, Dan Sperbar) – intention: informative, communicative.

Channel is the medium that carries the message, appealing to five senses. The important part of communication connected with channel is coping with noises which can be:

– internal – attitudes or feelings a speaker has which interfere with the encoding process;

– external noises – (physical, mechanical) the consequence of external noises is that the message doesn’t reach the receiver;

– semantic (unintended meanings) – aroused by certain symbols which inhabit the accuracy of decoding.

They are related to knowledge level communication skills, background, experience, beliefs.

e.g. distraction, differences in the use of the code, emphasizing the wrong part of the message and attitudes of the speaker to the message/receiver.

A message can also be distorted by channel overload, when a channel capacity (a maximum amount of information a channel can carry) is exceeded.

Speaker’s and receiver’s characteristics are the same. Feedback (positive, negative) allows the sender to see how his message is received. It can help the sender to improve the accuracy of message transformation. It can help the sender keep the conversation relevance to the subject-matter or the listener.

An emphasis on feedback ensures the dialogue. If there is no feedback, the communication transforms into the monologue.

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