Communication Models

Elements of Communication

Before we delve further into understanding the different types of communication models, it is important to deconstruct the basic elements which combine together to form any communication. It is important to understand these elements and their impact on their overall communication process.

The 8 basic elements of communication are as follows:

  1. Source: The communication process begins with the source or the sender. He/she is the person who wants to convey their message. For example, when companies advertise their products, they are the ones creating the message and transmitting it.

  2. Message: The actual subject matter of the communication is referred to as the message. The message can either be logical or it may be designed to convey an emotional message. It can include words, sounds, gestures, audiovisual media etc. The purpose of the message is to influence the thoughts and feelings of the receiver.

  3. Channel: Channel refers to the medium which is used to send the message. The channel is the carrier of the message.

    For example, a message could be sent in a written format. Alternatively, it could be sent in an audio or audiovisual format. Each channel has its own limitations. The same message may have to be constructed differently if it is transmitted by different channels keeping the limitations of channel in mind.

  4. Encoding: Encoding is the process whereby the sender converts their thoughts and feelings into a message which may be understood by the receiver. The sender needs to use pictures, words and gestures carefully in order to induce the desired effect in the receiver.

  5. Receiver: The receiver is the target of the communication process. It is important to understand the mental and personality characteristics of the receiver so that the communication message can be tailored accordingly.

  6. Decoding: The receiver uses their own process to decode the message conveyed by the pictures, words and gestures into thoughts and feelings. The decoding process of different individuals can be different. Hence, the same message can have a different impact on different individuals.

  7. Interference: The communication process does not operate in vacuum. There are many communication messages which are being transmitted by different people simultaneously. Hence, it is important to take into account the “noise” or “interference” which is created by the co-existence of several messages.

    The noise could also refer to the technical issues which are faced during the communication process viz. disturbance in a telephone line.

  8. Feedback: The communication process does not end when the message is transmitted. It is a two-way process and hence the entire process needs to run in reverse wherein the receiver expresses their reaction to the message received.

    Feedback is very important since it tells us whether the message has been received and understood by the receiver.

What is a Model

A model is widely used to depict any idea, thought or a concept in a more simpler way through diagrams, pictorial representations etc.

Models go a long way in making the understanding of any concept easy and clear. Through a model one can easily understand a process and draw conclusions from it. In simpler words a model makes the learning simple.

Let us now learn about the various communication models:

  1. Aristotle Model of Communication

  2. Berlo’s Model of Communication

  3. Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication

  4. Schramm’s Model of Communication

  5. Helical Model of Communication

  6. Westley and MacLeans Model of Communication

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