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Fundamentals of Communication

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1.6 Communication Models


ESSENTIAL READING Simpson C., Essential Reading page 3

Background Models provide a simplified view of something to be studied1. Now that we know that communication involves a process and comprises of certain elements. The next step is to critique various models that represent elements in this process. Linear Action Interactional Transactional Gatekeeper Ecological
ARISTOTLE MODEL THE LASSWELL MODEL

o Linear Models

ARISTOTLE

This model consists of three elements. A sender transmits the message to the recipient. However this model does not take into accounts all the elements of the communication process. o THE LASWELL MODEL Who? Says what? In what channel? To whom? With what effect? (Lasswell, 1948) This model consists merely of a series of questions. It incorporates additional elements such choosing the appropriate channel and makes reference to decoding the message. The above models depict communication as an act and not a process. It merely depicts communication as one way act by the sender, sending messages to the recipient. These earliest models do not take into account the recipient nor does it give any credence to the elements as interrelated but merely depicts them in a vacuum.
2

model- a simplified representation of a phenomenon. theory -a group of statements which seek to explain a phenomenon. Thus a model represents a theory gives reasons for its representation.

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Fundamentals of Communication

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o Action Models The action models are sender-oriented. They emphasize the senders input. They emphasize how a sender must encode a message to transmit to the audience without taking into account the recipients impact on the communication process.
o THE SHANNON WEAVER MODEL

This model consists of six elements: a source an encoder a message a channel a decoder a receiver This model is also known as the inoculation model. This model depicts communication as one person sending a message to a next person. It does not present the recipient as being a contributor to the communication; the recipient is seen as being injected with the message.
o INTERACTIONAL MODELS

An interactional model

These models include the recipient as getting and exchanging information. One person sends a message and the recipient responds to the message. Yet again these models have their limitations. These models do not take into effect the relationship between the sender and the recipient nor does it take into account multiple messages operating simultaneously.

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Fundamentals of Communication

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TRANSACTIONAL MODELS

While the sender is continually generating messages and the recipient is continually providing feedback through verbal and nonverbal cues messages do not occur one at atime but simultaneously. Yet, with this model recipients focus more on behavioural pattern instead of the message.

A TRANSACTIONAL MODEL

GATEKEEPER MODEL

This is also known as the intermediary model. This model involves an individual who monitors and limits the flow of information. If information is not monitored then there will an overload. The gatekeeper is responsible for the message others receive, the context in which they are seen and when they are seen.

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Fundamentals of Communication

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ECOLOGICAL MODEL

In this model the role of the sender and the recipient is interchangeable. The sender creates and consumes messages using language and media to communicate. This model looks at how people create messages based on their backgrounds and their target audience. People also learn how to create messages by observing how others encode their messages. Interpretation is often influenced by how recipients perceive the senders. This model takes into account all the elements of the communication process and how these elements relate to each other.

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