The original model was designed to mirror the functioning of radio and telephone technologies. Their initial model consisted of three primary parts: sender, channel, and receiver. The sender was the part of a telephone a person spoke into, the channel was the telephone itself, and the receiver was the part of the phone where one could hear the other person. Shannon and Weaver also recognized that often there is static that interferes with one listening to a telephone conversation, which they deemed noise. The noise could also mean the absence of signal.
In a simple model, often referred to as the transmission model or standard view of communication, information or content (e.g. a message innatural language) is sent in some form (as spoken language) from an emisor/ sender/ encoder to a destination/ receiver/ decoder. This common conception of communication views communication as a means of sending and receiving information. The strengths of this model are simplicity, generality, and quantifiability. Social scientists Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver structured this model based on the following elements:
1.An information source, which produces a message.
2.A transmitter, which encodes the message into signals
3.A channel, to which signals are adapted for transmission
4.A receiver, which 'decodes' (reconstructs) the message from the signal.
5.A destination, where the message arrives.
Shannon and Weaver argued that there were three levels of problems for communication within this theory.
The technical problem: how accurately can the message be transmitted?
The semantic problem: how precisely is the meaning 'conveyed'?
The effectiveness problem: how effectively does the received meaning affect behavior?
Daniel Chandler critiques the transmission model by stating:
It assumes communicators are isolated individuals.
No allowance for differing purposes.
No allowance for differing interpretations.
No allowance for unequal power relations.
Linear Model – is a one way model to communicate with others. It consists of the sender encoding a message and channeling it to the receiver in the presence of noise. Draw backs – the linear model assumes that there is a clear cut beginning and end to communication. It also displays no feedback from the receiver.For example; a letter, email, text message, lecture.
Interactive Model – is two linear models stacked on top of each other. The sender channels a message to the receiver and the receiver then becomes the sender and channels a message to the original sender. This model has added feedback, indicates that communication is not a one way but a two way process. It also has “field of experience” which includes our cultural background, ethnicity geographic location, extend of travel, and general personal experiences accumulated over the course of your lifetime. Draw backs – there is feedback but it is not simultaneous.For example – instant messaging. The sender sends an IM to the receiver, then the original sender has to wait for the IM from the original receiver to react. Or a question/answer session where you just ask a question then you get an answer.
Transactional Model – assumes that people are connected through communication; they engage in transaction. Firstly, it recognizes that each of us is a sender-receiver, not merely a sender or a receiver. Secondly, it recognizes that communication affects all parties involved. So communication is fluid/simultaneous. This is how most conversation are like. The transactional model also contains ellipses that symbolize the communication environment (how you interpret the data that you are given). Where the ellipses meet is the most effect communication area because both communicators share the same meaning of the message.For example – talking/listening to friends. While your friend is talking you are constantly giving them feedback on what you think through your facial expression verbal feedback without necessarily stopping your friend from talking.
· Sender: The sender is what or who is trying to send a message to the receiver.
· Encoder: In the general case, it is not possible to directly insert the message onto the communications medium. For instance, when you speak on the telephone, it is not possible to actually transmit sound (vibrations in matter) across the wire for any distance. In your phone is a microphone, which converts the sound into electrical impulses, which can be transmitted by wires. Those electrical impulses are then manipulated by the electronics in the phone so they match up with what the telephone system expects.
· Message: Since this is a communication engineer's model, the message is the actual encoded message that is transmitted by the medium.
· Medium: The medium is what the message is transmitted on. The phone system, Internet, and many other electronic systems use wires. Television and radio can use electromagnetic radiation. Even bongo drums can be used as a medium (http://eagle.auc.ca/~dreid/overview.html).
· Decoder: The decoder takes the encoded message and converts it to a form the receiver understands, since for example a human user of the phone system does not understand electrical impulses directly.
· Receiver: The receiver is the target of the message.