Communication Theories

In 1948, Lasswell’s model depicted a linear model. The model says that the speaker sends a message through a communication channel to a listener or an audience to achieve an effect. This model could be basically formulated by asking the question “Who says what to whom in what channel with what effect.”

Then, Shannon & Weaver’s drawn a liner communication model in 1949. This model included a “noise source”, which has the effect of disturbing the transmission of the message. Shannon is known as the father of information theory.

The theorist Schramm built three models during the 1950s. After included the concept of en- and decoding in the first model and added the ideas of a common field for partner communication in the second, he developed the idea of feedback in his third model. Moreover, for the first time, the communication model became circular process.

The communication model of Westley and MacLean includes different media sources that they name in their model “events.” Interestingly this model does not have a feedback possibility for the message receiving party.

Finally, Kincaid‘s 1979 Convergence Model shows communication as a process, and not a single event, where information is shared to reach a level of mutual understanding. Communication is depicted as dynamic and cyclical.

To sum up, communication models have been developed from liner to cyclical and dynamic models and also changed to be adapted to mass communications methods.


“I personally experienced, what Schramm describes with his second model, that the sender and the receiver of a message need to have a common expertise in the topic discussed. Otherwise the message will not be understood. The same expertise does not even have to be a difficult topic, it can simply be a difference in the language spoken. For example, my roommates in America were German. Since I am French and I can not speak German at all and they could not speak French. Thus, we have to agree upon a language that we both speak, which would be English even if it were difficult sometimes because of the accent. Moreover, it is interesting to see the growing place that the English hold as the universal language. Now, if you go abroad you need to speak English. I experienced the main problem that people meets if they do not speak during my last holiday with my childhood friends in Spain. They do not speak English because they have not been lucky like me and they left the school very early. It was very difficult to them to speak and meet other people because of this communication barrier. This is one of the main problem of the French educational system. Before going in United States, I have never spoken English. Of course, I learned it and I was not so bad in class graduation but the oral skills are really not developed at school. That is why French people have the reputation to be bad in English and it could be very dangerous for our business development. Moreover, the context of free trade in Europe and globalization get worse this situation and our lack of English speaking.”


Communication theories, wikipedia

Glossary of Communication Theories



Published in: on July 2, 2008 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment