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A Communication Model

There is always a sender and a receiver in communication. At least there is an

intended receiver. In the diagram above A is the sender, B is the receiver.
A and B have different personal realities. They each have their own world formed by
their experiences, their perceptions, their ideas, etc. They will perceive, experience, and
interpret things differently. The same event will always be perceived a little different by each
of two people.
For the consideration to communicate to appear at all there must be some kind of
shared space. The participants must have some kind of concept of each other's location and
of a possible channel of communication existing between them. They must agree sufficiently
on these to agree that communication is taking place.
The sender will have some kind of meaning she wishes to convey to the receiver. It
might not be conscious knowledge; it might be a sub-conscious wish for communication.
What is desired to be communicated would be some kind of idea, perception, feeling, or
datum. It will be a part of her reality that she wishes to send to somebody else.
Something will be transmitted across a distance in the shared space. We can regard it
as an object, a particle, or as a wave, or flow. It might be sound vibrations, rays of light,
words, pieces of paper, cannon balls, body language, telepathy, or whatever.
Between humans there will be several layers of the message being sent. There will
often be a verbal portion, something that is being expressed in language, spoken or written.
And there is also a non-verbal portion, covering everything else, most notably body
language. Sometimes the verbal and non-verbal messages don't agree with each other, they
are incongruent. If they do agree we say that they are congruent.
Based on what the receiver perceives, and based on her interpretation of the verbal
and non-verbal input, she will form a concept in her reality of what the meaning of the
message is. It will mean something to her. It might or might not be what was intended by the
sender. In successful communication the perceived message will approximate the intended
message to the sender's satisfaction. However, the sender will only know that if she receives
a message back that is congruent with what she had in mind.

One can never take for granted that the receiver has the same reality as the sender.
One can never take for granted that the receiver will interpret the message the same way as
the sender intended it.
Communication is not an absolute finite thing. Particularly, communication with
language is always vague and misleading to some extent.
If A says a word, like for example "trust", she has a certain meaning attached to it in
her reality. She has had certain experiences with the subject matter, she has made certain
conclusions about it, and she has certain perceptual filters concerning it. The meaning of the
word is all the stuff it is associated with in her reality. However, because words also have
nice, finite dictionary definitions it might appear as if the word is something very precise.
What travel across the communication channel is NOT all the associations that A
made about the word, and NOT the intentions she had with using it. What cross the distance
is symbols.
When B hears the word or sentence she will interpret it based on her experiences,
perceptions, and opinions. She might supplement the verbal information with non-verbal
information such as body language. She might also hallucinate what it is supposed to mean.
In one way or another she arrives at the meaning she assigns to it.
There is wide agreement, at least within a particular culture, on what common
physical objects are. When you say "car" or "refrigerator" most people will have an
understanding very close to yours. But if you say words for abstract qualities, like "trust",
"love", "right", "wrong", and so forth, then there is wide variance on what people mean.
To have effective communication one needs to take all the factors into consideration.
The different realities, the space the communication takes place in, verbal as well as non-
verbal messages, the intended meaning versus the perceived meaning.


Communication is a process whereby information is enclosed in a package

and is channeled and imparted by a sender to a receiver via some medium. The
receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. All forms of
communication require a sender, a message, and a receiver. Communication
requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality. There are
auditory means, such as speech, song, and tone of voice, and there are nonverbal
means, such as body language, sign language, paralanguage, touch, eye contact,

In a Communication Model, there are 2 communicating people, A and B
person. They have different perception and interpretations of what word are they
talking about. A is the sender while B is the receiver, when A says any word like
“faith” he is talking about something of what she want to mean but when the B
person receives it he may interpret it base on his experiences or of what he believes
at. Sometimes they have misunderstanding because of the channel which the
sender used but sometimes it depends on the receiver on how to interpret the
sender’s message but usually it may verbal or non-verbal- where often used and
misunderstood by the receiver/s.
In effective communicating there should be clear message sent by the sender
to the receiver and one must be considerable in different messages to be pass and
in different messages may be received, may it be verbal or non-verbal to
communicate completely and clearly.

Schramm's Model of Communication

Wilbur L. Schramm was a forefather in the development of a basic model of
communication. His model is a derivation of the Shannon-Weaver transmission model of
communication. The Shannon-Weaver model proposed six elements of communication:
• source
• encoder
• message
• channel
• decoder
• receiver

Wilbur Schramm's 1954 model expands on this thinking by emphasizing the process
of encoding and decoding the message. Schramm envisioned this process as a two-way
circular communication between the sender and receiver. Where the Shannon-Weaver
model is a more mathematical and technological one, Schramm incorporates the study of
human behavior in the communication process.
In addition to the six elements above, Schramm has included these concepts:
• Feedback - information that comes back from the receiver to the sender and tells
him how well he is doing.
Diagram of Schramm's feedback loop

• Field of Experience - an individual's beliefs, values, experiences and learned

meanings both as an individual or part of a group.

Diagram of Schramm's field of experience

Dr. Schramm suggests that the message can be complicated by different meanings
learned by different people. Meanings can be denotative or connotative. Denotative
meanings are common or dictionary meanings and can be roughly the same for most
people. Connotative meanings are emotional or evaluative and based on personal
experience. A message can also have surface and latent meanings. Other characteristics
of messages that impact communication between two individuals are: intonations and
pitch patterns, accents, facial expressions, quality of voice, and gestures. The successful
transmission of a message depends on whether this message will be accepted over all the
competing messages.
Schramm's model of communication also allows for the process of interpreting the
message. This process is influenced by the presence of both physical (phone, tv, sirens,
etc.) and semantic (distractions, age, attitudes, etc.) noise.
Dr. Schramm believed that all of these elements were important functions of
communication in society. He felt that people in a society need information on their
environment and methods of communicating in order to make decisions. Most
importantly we need "places to store the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of a society
and this are why we have libraries" (Schramm, 1963, pg. 14). Within a library, all of
these elements of Wilbur Schramm's communication model are useful in addressing
problems with conducting a reference interview. This model provides the rationale to
solve the problem presented in this project.


As Wilbur L. Schramm said about his model of communication, there are six
elements in communicating people to people these are: source, encoder, message
channel, decoder and the receiver. He believes that these six elements are the
things needed in communicating people. In addition to the six elements he
includes, Feedback - information that comes back from the receiver to the sender
and tells him how well he is doing (see illustration in page 4) and Field of
Experience - an individual's beliefs, values, experiences and learned meanings both
as an individual or part of a group (at page 5).
He says that messages can be sent to people in different meanings- can be
denotative or connotative. Wherein, denotative is the common meaning at the
dictionary while the connotative is the emotion and the meaning based on their
experiences. And these messages may undergo in different processes and may
influenced by a noise- physical (phone, television, sirens, etc.) and semantic
(distractions, age, attitudes, etc.) noise.

At the end, these elements are important in communicating people,
especially if the message/s is/are must be noted to the receiver and it’s also
important to consider the place where the two people are talking.

Shannon and Weaver's Model of Communication

Back in 1949 Claude Shannon, an electrical engineer with Bell Telephone, and
Warren Weaver, of the Rockefeller Foundation, (Figure 1) published their book, The
Mathematical Theory of Communication 3.
Shannon and Weaver attempted to do two things:
• Reduce the communication process to a set of mathematical formulas
• Discuss problems that could be handled with the model.
Shannon and Weaver were not particularly interested in the sociological or
psychological aspects of communication. Instead, they wanted to devise a
communications system with as close to 100 percent efficiency as possible.
You'll note that the Shannon and Weaver diagram has essentially the same parts as the
one formulated by Aristotle. It's true the parts have different names, and a fourth
component — in this case the transmitter — is included.
However, this model has an interesting additional element. Shannon and Weaver were
concerned with noise in the communications process. Noise, Weaver said, "may be

distortions of sound (in telephony, for example) or static (in radio), or distortions in shape
or shading of picture (television), or errors in transmission (telegraph or facsimile), etc."
The "noise" concept introduced by Shannon and Weaver can be used to illustrate
"semantic noise" that interferes with communication. Semantic noise is the problem
connected with differences in meaning that people assign to words, to voice inflections in
speech, to gestures and expressions and to other similar "noise" in writing.
Semantic noise is a more serious problem or barrier to developing effective
communications than most realize. It is hard to detect that semantic noise has interfered
with communication. Too often the person sending a message chooses to use words and
phrases that have a certain meaning to him or her. However, they may have an altogether
different meaning to individuals receiving the message. In the interest of good
communication, we need to work to hold semantic noise to the lowest level possible.
We should be aware that there is a semantic noise in face-to-face verbal
communication just as there is static noise, for example, in radio communication.
There are other kinds of noises involved in communication as well. Keep the noise
concept in mind.
Claude Shannon was a research scientist at Bell Telephone Company trying to
achieve maximum telephone line capacity with minimum distortion. He had never
intended for his mathematical theory of signal transmission for anything but telephones.
But when Warren Weaver applied Shannon's concept of information loss to interpersonal
communication, one of the most popular models of communication was created.
Suppose you have an idea in your head (information source) that you want to tell
someone about. You must first move the idea from your brain to your mouth
(transmitter). Since you cannot actually share your gray matter, you must select words for
your transmitter to use. Once you speak, your voice (signal) is carried through the air
toward the listener's ear (receiver). Along the way, your signal is joined by a myriad of
other sounds and distractions (noises). The receiver then takes everything it receives and
tries to maximum the message and minimizes the noise. Finally, the receiver conveys its
message to the other person's mind (destination).
Shannon and Weaver's model clearly demonstrates why even the simplest
communications can be misunderstood. Transmitting a signal across additional media
only adds to the complexity of the communication and increases the chance for distortion.
It is suddenly easier to understand why other people just can't grasp what we already


Shannon and Weaver’s model of communication was one of my choices and

I totally agree of what they have said about giving and receiving messages. In their
model of communication, it includes the transmitter and the noise source because
they are depending upon the destruction why people get misunderstanding.
As Schramm said earlier, Shannon and Weaver also give an element in these
two-way processes of communicating- information source, transmitter, signal,
signal receiver, receiver, destination and the noise source. According to Shannon
and Weaver's model, a message begins at an information source, which is relayed
through a transmitter, and then sent via a signal towards the receiver. But before it
reaches the receiver, the message must go through noise (sources of interference).
Finally, the receiver must convey the message to its destination. The said noise
source is one of the realities of what is happening in us, in the field of
communicating and the source of misunderstanding.
Shannon and Weaver want to show why people (receiver) get wrong in
accepting message (because of the noise source). Whether we like it or not there is
much liquidation in communicating and it would be better if we know what the
receiver wants to mean to its receiver.

David Berlo's S-M-R-C Model

The following diagram depicts the S-M-R-C Model developed by David Berlo.

The Berlo S-M-R-C Model accounts for a variety of human variables that are
present in person-to-person communication. When one is attempting to convey an
emotionally complex message, the Berlo Model may be the more appropriate choice. For
the transmission of a straightforward message where both parties have a similar
knowledge base, the Shannon-Weaver Model, although often thought of as simplistic, can
be more effective than the Berlo Model.
The final communications model that we will consider is the SMCR model,
developed by David K. Berlo, a communications theorist and consultant. In his book The
Process of Communication, Berlo points out the importance of the psychological view in
his communications model. The four parts of Berlo's SMCR model are — no surprises
here — source, message, channel, receiver.
The first part of this communication model is the source. All communication must
come from some source. The source might be one person, a group of people, or a
company, organization, or institution such as MU.
Several things determine how a source will operate in the communication process.
They include the source's communication skills — abilities to think, write, draw, speak.
They also include attitudes toward audience, the subject matter, you, or toward any other
factor pertinent to the situation. Knowledge of the subject, the audience, the situation and
other background also influences the way the source operates. So will social background,
education, friends, salary, culture — all sometimes called the sociocultural context in
which the source lives.
Message has to do with the package to be sent by the source. The code or language
must be chosen. In general, we think of code in terms of the natural languages —
English, Spanish, German, Chinese and others. Sometimes we use other languages —

music, art, gestures. In all cases, look at the code in terms of ease or difficulty for
audience understanding.
Within the message, select content and organize it to meet acceptable treatment for
the given audience or specific channel. If the source makes a poor choice, the message
will likely fail.
Channel can be thought of as a sense — smelling, tasting, feeling, hearing, and
seeing. Sometimes it is preferable to think of the channel as the method over which the
message will be transmitted: telegraph, newspaper, radio, letter, poster or other media.
Kind and number of channels to use may depend largely on purpose. In general,
the more you can use and the more you tailor your message to the people "receiving"
each channel, the more effective your message.
Receiver becomes the final link in the communication process. The receiver is the
person or persons who make up the audience of your message. All of the factors that
determine how a source will operate apply to the receiver. Think of communication skills
in terms of how well a receiver can hear, read, or use his or her other senses. Attitudes
relate to how a receiver thinks of the source, of himself or herself, of the message, and so
on. The receiver may have more or less knowledge than the source. Sociocultural context
could be different in many ways from that of the source, but social background,
education, friends, salary, culture would still be involved. Each will affect the receiver's
understanding of the message.
Messages sometimes fail to accomplish their purpose for many reasons.
Frequently the source is unaware of receivers and how they view things. Certain channels
may not be as effective under certain circumstances. Treatment of a message may not fit
a certain channel. Or some receivers simply may not be aware of, interested in, or capable
of using certain available messages.


David K. Berlo is the one who created the SMCR- source, message, channel and
the receiver. These four elements are the things he thinks are important. As you observed,
it may be similar to what Shannon and Weaver made but he edited some elements to
make it simpler. He points out that the source and the receivers have their common idea
even sometimes there are some destruction in connection with their emotions and

In Berlo’s model, the first thing is the source- it is where the message came from.
The message is the article to be sent in connection with this, is the channel- the sense
where you will know what the source wants to mean but sometimes not applicable at

telephone, radio and etc. the last part, includes the receiver- the one who accepts the
message and the person who often misunderstood the message.

The important thing in Berlo’s model is how to understand the message, because it
depends to the receiver on how he will interpret the said message that sometimes in
channel there are destructions but the receiver must be aware of it.

The Rileys' Model

John W. and Matilda White Riley, a husband and wife team of sociologists, point
out the importance of the sociological view in communication in another way. The two
sociologists say such a view would fit together the many messages and individual
reactions to them within an integrated social structure and process. The Riley’s developed
a model (Figure 3) to illustrate these sociological implications in communication.5
The model indicates the communicator (C) emerges as part of a larger pattern,
sending messages in accordance with the expectations and actions of other persons and
groups within the same social structure. This also is true of the receiver (R) in the
communications process.
In addition, both the communicator and receiver are part of an overall social
system. Within such an all-embracing system, the communication process is seen as a
part of a larger social process, both affecting it and being in turn affected by it. The
model clearly illustrates that communication is a two-way proposition.
The important point the Rileys' model makes for us is that we send messages as
members of certain primary groups and that our receivers receive our messages as
members of primary groups. As you likely can visualize, group references may be a
positive reinforcement of our messages; at other times they may create a negative force.


John W. and Matilda White Riley are both sociologists. Relating that social
communication is important at all, in this general communication does have
individual communication. In Riley’s model of communication makes we realize
that communicating in the society develop us to be socialized.
In Riley’s model, there are just 2 elements- the communicator and the
receiver, believing that these are the over all two important person in the social
communication wherein the communicator is the source of the message/s and the
receiver is the one who receives and response to the communicator’s message.
Social communication is like a group of friends where the people discuss
something and the only person are the communicator and the receiver but we must
consider that having communication to a certain group is a big responsibility to
understand the certain message/s.

Lasswell's Model of Communication
The begriming of the theory of communication is considered to be Harold
Lasswell's "The Structure and Function of Communication in Society." The model of
communication Lasswell proposed has five components:

Who What Channel Whom

(speaker) → (message) → (medium) → (audience) →

The rhetorical influence is rather obvious in the exception of "channel" or

"medium" which reflects a mass media orientation (Lasswell names of the components
with the was a political scientist researching political propaganda). He follows Aristotle's
Rhetoric in this model, adding channel or medium. Lasswell, Aristotle, and Burke view
communication as an "object" they are observing. Lasswell observed messages in the
mass media; Aristotle observed orators; and Burke, texts.
Harold Lasswell, a political scientist, developed a much quoted formulation of the
main elements of communication: "Who says what in which channel to whom with what
effect."2 This summation of the communications process has been widely quoted since
the 1940s.
The point in Lasswell's comment is that there must be an "effect" if communication
takes place. If we have communicated, we've "motivated" or produced an effect.
It's also interesting to note that Lasswell's version of the communication process
mentions four parts — who, what, channel, whom. Three of the four parallel parts
mentioned by Aristotle — speaker (who), subject (what), person addressed (whom). Only
channel has been added. Most modern-day theorists discuss the four parts of the
communication process, but use different terms to designate them.


Lasswell’ Model of Communication has five components. These are the
following: who (Speaker), What (Message), and Channel (Medium), whom
(audience) and Effect. Lasswell’s model had been affected by Aristotle’s Rhetoric.
They view communication as an object that they are observing. Lasswell viewed
the message in the mass media and Aristotle observed oratos and the one in
common with then is Burke, in texts.
He, Harold Lasswell, was a political scientist and developed a quotation of
the main elements of communication which is: “Who says what in which channel
to whom with what effect.” This is the short quotation made by Lasswell to shorten
the explanation of his model of communication. He commented that there must be
an effect if there is communication is taking place. Because in everything
happening and in every deed we do, there must have effects.
It so happened that in Lasswell model or version of communication, the
three of his components – Who, What, and Whom, are the same or similar with
Aristotle’s. But then, they do have different interpretations with these three
The model shows that there is one who acts as the speaker who conveys the
message, what will be his opinion of something or his message that will travel to
us, the audience so that we may know what the speaker wants to say and then it
will be received by the person you are conveying, the audience then they will react
on it.