Saturday, July 7, 2007

Theories of Communication

Theories of Communication

“To communicate,” means to let one’s ideas, views, opinions or simply just a message, action or touch flow as information through a channel to a targeted listener. Communication is the process of information flow by which living creatures can convey and acquire information related to their surroundings; to carry out the daily life activities. Communication is thus an information related behavior.

Three common communication settings are:

1.Interpersonal (face- to- face) – direct one to one communication
2.Machine assisted (computers, cell phones, etc) – use of email, instant messages, conversation over cell phones, etc, which makes use of machines as a channel for information exchange.
3.Mass communication- information to be conveyed is targeted at a larger audience that is scattered. Television, radio, print media like magazines, newspapers, etc are used as medium of communication.

Models of Communication


Theorists have proposed various models of communication from time to time. Linear models dominated communication research earlier but gradually convergence models of network communications evolved. In linear models individuals as the unit of analysis and the information flow is unidirectional whereas in convergence models information exchange relationships are the unit of analysis.

Lasswell's Model
Harold Lasswell a political scientist in 1948 proposed a linear model, which explains the communication process as "Who says what to whom in what channel with what effect." Lasswell’s model focuses primarily on verbal communication just as Aristotle’s. The model is a simple description of one-way communication process, which comprises of a speaker who communicates a message to a receiver by making use of any of the media like print, radio, television, etc to finally convey the information.
Shannon & Weaver’s Model
The Father of Information Theory, Claude Shannon’s published work for Bell Telephone forms the basis of the Shannon and Weaver model. The model consists of an information source, which selects a desired message out of a set of possible messages, and the selected message may consist of written or spoken words, or of pictures, music, etc. It has a transmitter that converts the message into a signal, which is sent over the communication channel from the transmitter to the receiver.

During signal transmission through the channel, receiver may come across noises, which are any mental or physical distraction that interferes with the transmission of a signal from the source to the destination. "Correction channels” are introduced which overcomes the problems created by noise and the information in form of the signal finally reaches the receiver.
Schramm’s Model
Wilbur Schramm in 1954 provided several additional models out of which the first was essentially an elaboration of Shannon's. He introduced the concept of “commonness” between the source and the receiver. The message from the source is encoded and is transmitted in form of a signal to the receiver where it gets decoded. Here the information carried in form of a signal is encoded and decoded in the common way in which both the sender and receiver can interpret it easily.

In his second model, he introduced the concept of field experience, which helps in determining whether a message would be received at its destination in the manner intended by the source.

Schramm’s third model is based on the convergence or network approach. Due to various kinds of noise there are chances that the message gets distorted till it reaches the receiver, to overcome the problem he introduced the concept of feedback which helps the sender to modify the information form what he observes or hears from the receiver or the audience. The communication process now takes a circular form as both parties take on the roles of sender and recipient.

Schramm’s model emphasizes on the importance of feedback for the information to reach the receiver in the same manner as desired by the sender. Feedback is essential in the business environment to ensure that the constituencies interpret the information correctly from the companies.

Westley-MacLean Model
Bruce Westley and Malcolm MacLean, Jr. proposed a model, which tells that in an environment various events occur on which advocates may choose to comment. The advocate’s comment are taken up by different types of media like print, radio, television, etc which passes on the information to the audience. The audience responds to these comments and gives its feedback to the media and to the advocates. Even the media can give its feedback to the advocates. The model elaborates the feedback concept and emphasizes on mass communication and interpersonal communication, as well as the relationship between the two.

Kincaid’s Convergence Model
In the convergence model, "communication" is defined as a process in which participants create and share information with one another in order to reach a mutual understanding.

Lawrence Kincaid proposed the Convergence Model in 1979, which lead to a relational perspective of human communication. When information is shared with individuals or groups taking part in the communication process, it may lead collective action towards mutual agreement and mutual understanding. Before this, the information is understood, interpreted and perceived by individuals.

Communication is this model is viewed as a process rather than a single event. The model emphasizes information exchange and networks that exist between individuals.
References and links

1.http://www.cas.usf.edu/lis/lis260/lectures/shannon.html

2.http://www.cultsock.ndirect.co.uk/MUHome/cshtml/index.html

Experiences

1.Systematically conveyed messages through proper a channel can lead to timely deliverance of the information to the receiver, making the work process easier. I personally experienced this during my internship at Reliance Industries. From the day I joined, I was well instructed and guided regarding my day-to-day activities by my project guide. My project guide communicated the information regarding my work of the day in a clear and an understandable manner. The department activities being spread all around the company premises made it difficult for him to coordinate physically with me regarding my progress, so he was in constant touch through emails. This helped me improve my email communication style with the senior executives. On a regular basis, he took my feedback to ensure that I understood the organization and its functions well. Thus good communication skills can help the receiver interpret the information without any flaws and regular feedback helps in modifying that the information in case of any errors.

2.Information exchange can become difficult at times due to various kinds of noises in the environment. Physical noise as well as mental noise can distract the communication process. Constant distractions during lecture hours in the college when students arrive late and try to enquire regarding the class, deviates my concentration and the information from the lecturer is misinterpreted which finally leads to difficulties during examination.Lasswell's Model
Harold Lasswell a political scientist in 1948 proposed a linear model, which explains the communication process as "Who says what to whom in what channel with what effect." Lasswell’s model focuses primarily on verbal communication just as Aristotle’s. The model is a simple description of one-way communication process, which comprises of a speaker who communicates a message to a receiver by making use of any of the media like print, radio, television, etc to finally convey the information.

5 comments:

udghosh said...

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sandip!!singh said...

yaa......ankush bhai.u r really catch d m y words anys wayz its awsome work sir!!

mini said...

thanks a lot its nice for students of mass com good job thanks a lot

BABI KIMERA said...

What a wonderful collection, it has greatly helped me to do my course work. Godfrey Babi Kimera, Makerere University, kampala Uganda

BABI KIMERA said...

What a wonderful collection, it has greatly helped me to do my course work. Godfrey Babi Kimera, Makerere University, kampala Uganda