What is communication?

October 28, 2011 by
Filed under: Communication 

Globally, you can speak of communication when some body tries to influence another person by transferring information. This happens amongst people aswel as animals. Lasswell has made a model to clarify communication.

lasswell communication model

He asks 5 questions to analyse the communication channel: Who? Says what? In which channel? To whom? With what effect? Shannon added two more concepts: encoding and decoding a message. Encoding means that the messenger sends his message in some kind of form. Usually its the spoken language, but it can be written or nonverbal as well.  Decoding means the opposite, the receiver translates the encoded message in a certain meaning (of the message). This looks as follows:

shannon communication model

Shannon’s model lacks two things, the difference of the message (what is being communicated?) and the channel (how is it being communicated?). Lindgren has come with 7 steps for a succesfull communication transfer, this combines both of the model above:

lindgren 7 steps in communication

1. The communicator wants to communicate a certain piece of information

2. The information gets encoded, meaning it gets translated in some kind of form, like spoken language, it gets written down, or is sent in nonverbal signs

3. This message is transferred throu a channel, like the voice or a page on the internetblog

4. While the signals pass the channel, they are sensitive for interference / noise like background noise, the receiver who mumbles, etc.

5. The receiver receives the message, including the noise

6. He decodes the signals

7. He interprets the message, giving a certain meaning to it (effect)

It seems like alot, but the model is very self explanatory, so it wont take too much effort to analyse messages in daily life according to this schedule. On the other hand, it gets alot easier to find poor communication, or what causes it.