Foundations of Communication

Communication Models

Over time, communication scholars have increasingly expanded our understanding of  the communication process through the use of three models:

1.Linear Model – The oldest, most simplified model

2.Interactional Model – A more expansive version of the linear model

3.Transactional Model – The most complex and contemporary model

Linear Model (source-dominated)

This model defines communication in basic terms:

Source, Message, Receiver, Feedback

It considers feedback…and NOISE or interference of the message. The four types of noise are:

  • Physical (actual noise)
  • Semantic (linguistic influences on the message)
  • Psychological (cognitive influences on the message)
  • Physiological (biological influences on the message)

See Claude Shannon for detailed description of his influential model.

Interactional Model (reciprocal & ongoing)

Sender and Receiver become “interpreters”—both encode and decode messages, simultaneously.

Messages are interpreted according to individual experiences and shared experiences.

Both interpreters negotiate meaning in the message.

Linear and interactional models represent the transmissional view of communication.

Transactional Model (dynamic)

This model views the communication process as  changing the communicators.

Communicators walk away from the exchange different people. This makes the transactional approach constitutive because something now exists that did not exist before the communication.