CHAPTER MEANING, TYPES AND MODELS OF COMMUNICATION *Dr. AJAY KUMAR ATTRI Lecturer, Deptt. Of Education, MLSM College Sundernagar; Mandi (H. P) • INTRODUCTION Over time, technology has progressed and has created new forms of and ideas about communication. The newer advances include media and communications psychology. Media psychology is an emerging field of study. These technological advances revolutionized the processes of communication. Researchers have divided how communication was transformed into three revolutionary stages: In the 1st Information Communication Revolution, the first written communication began, with pictographs.
These writings were made on stone, which were too heavy to transfer. During this era, written communication was not mobile, but nonetheless existed. In the 2nd Information Communication Revolution, writing began to appear on paper, papyrus, clay, wax, etc. Common alphabets were introduced, allowing the uniformity of language across large distances. Much later the Gutenberg printing-press was invented. Gutenberg created this printing-press after a long period of time in the 15th century.
In the 3rd Information Communication Revolution, information can now be transferred via controlled waves and electronic signals. Communication is thus a process by which meaning is assigned and conveyed in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in interpersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. It is through communication that collaboration and cooperation occur. • MEANING OF COMMUNICATION 1. communication is : . An art and a technique of using words effectively to impart information or ideas. b. The field of study concerned with the transmission of information by various means, such as print or broadcasting. c. Any of various professions involved with the transmission of information, such as advertising, broadcasting, or journalism. 2. communication as a mean is: a. A system, such as mail, telephone, or television, for sending and receiving messages. b. A network of routes for sending messages and transporting troops and supplies. 3.
In the electronic world, it is the transfer of data and information from one location to another. “Data communications” or “datacom” refers to digital transmission. “Telecommunications” or “telecom” refers to a mix of voice and data, both analog and digital. However, due to digital convergence, “telecommunications” implies “data communications. ” 4. Communication is a process of transferring information from one entity to another. Communication processes are sign-mediated interactions between at least two agents which share a repertoire of signs and semiotic rules.
Communication is commonly defined as “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs”. [pic] 5. Communication is a process whereby information is enclosed in a package and is channeled and imparted by a sender to a receiver via some medium. The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. All forms of communication require a sender, a message, and an intended recipient; however the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender’s intent to communicate at the time of communication in order for the act of communication to occur.
Communication requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality. There are auditory means, such as speech, song, and tone of voice, and there are nonverbal means, such as body language, sign language, paralanguage, touch, eye contact, through media, i. e. , pictures, graphics and sound, and writing. 6. Communication is a transfer of information, such as thoughts and messages, as contrasted with transportation, the transfer of goods and persons. The basic forms of communication are by signs (sight) and by sounds.
The reduction of communication to writing was a fundamental step in the evolution of society for, in addition to being useful in situations where speech is not possible, writing permits the preservation of communications, or records, from the past. It marks the beginning of recorded history. Whereas the rise of book publishing and journalism facilitated the widespread dissemination of information, the invention of the telegraph, the radio, the telephone, and television made possible instantaneous communication over long distances.
With the installation of the submarine cable and improvements in short-wave radio technology, international communication was greatly improved and expanded. In 1962 the first active communications satellite was launched; it provided the first live television broadcast between the United States, Europe, Japan, and South America. Today, satellite communications is used extensively for relaying television signals, telephone calls, and special teleconferencing calls that might include two-way video and graphics along with audio.
The 20th-century development of mass media has played a major role in changing social, economic, political, and educational institutions. Telecommunication has been defined by international agreement as any emission, transmission, or reception of signs, signals, sounds, and writing. Recent advances in electronics have made mobile personal communications widely available and inexpensive, primarily through cellular telephony. Worldwide computer networks allow computer users to use modems to communicate rapidly and inexpensively through electronic mail.
The proliferation of facsimile machines allows users to send printed communications over telephone lines. • TYPES OF COMMUNICATIONS The field of communication is typically broken into three distinct camps: human communication, mass communications, and communication disorders. Human Communication or Communication Studies is the study of how individuals communicate. Some examples of the distinct areas that human communication scholars study are: Interpersonal Communication,Organizational Communication,Oral Communication, Small Group Communication,Intercultural Communication, Nonviolent Communication, Conflict , Public Speaking etc.
Examples of Mass Communications include: Mass communication, Graphic communication, Science communication, Strategic Communication, Superluminal communication, Technical communication, Public relations, Broadcast Media, Journalism, Media and Communications Psychology etc. Examples of Communication Disorders include: Facilitated Communication, Impairment of Language Modality and Speech Disorders etc. A) Human communication Human spoken and written languages can be described as a system of symbols (sometimes known as lexemes) and the grammars (rules) by which the symbols are manipulated.
The word “language” is also used to refer to common properties of languages. Language learning is normal in human childhood. Most human languages use patterns of sound or gesture for symbols which enable communication with others around them. There are thousands of human languages, and these seem to share certain properties, even though many shared properties have exceptions. There is no defined line between a language and a dialect, but the linguist Max Weinreich is credited as saying that “a language is a dialect with an army and a navy”.
Constructed languages such as Esperanto, programming languages, and various mathematical formalisms are not necessarily restricted to the properties shared by human languages. Bernard Luskin, UCLA, 1970, advanced computer assisted instruction and began to connect media and psychology into what is now the field of media psychology. In 1998, the American Association of Psychology, Media Psychology Division 46 Task Force report on psychology and new technologies combined media and communication as pictures, graphics and sound increasingly dominate modern communication. i)Non-verbal communication Nonverbal communication is the process of communicating through sending and receiving wordless messages. Such messages can be communicated through gesture, body language or posture; facial expression and eye contact, object communication such as clothing, hairstyles or even architecture, or symbols and info graphics, as well as through an aggregate of the above, such as behavioral communication. Nonverbal communication plays a key role in every person’s day to day life, from employment to romantic engagements.
Speech may also contain nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, emotion and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the use of emoticons. Other communication channels such as telegraphy fit into this category, whereby signals travel from person to person by an alternative means. These signals can in themselves be representative of words, objects or merely be state projections.
Trials have shown that humans can communicate directly in this way without body language, voice tonality or words. • Categories and Features of non-verbal communication a. Categories: G. W. Porter divides non-verbal communication into four broad categories: • Physical. This is the personal type of communication. It includes facial expressions, tone of voice, sense of touch, sense of smell, and body motions. • Aesthetic. This is the type of communication that takes place through creative expressions: playing instrumental music, dancing, painting and sculpturing. Signs. This is the mechanical type of communication, which includes the use of signal flags, the 21-gun salute, horns, and sirens. • Symbolic. This is the type of communication that makes use of religious, status, or ego-building symbols. b. Static Features • Distance. The distance one stands from another frequently conveys a non-verbal message. In some cultures it is a sign of attraction, while in others it may reflect status or the intensity of the exchange. • Orientation. People may present themselves in various ways: face-to-face, side-to-side, or even back-to-back.
For example, cooperating people are likely to sit side-by-side while competitors frequently face one another. • Posture. Obviously one can be lying down, seated, or standing. These are not the elements of posture that convey messages. Are we slouched or erect ? Are our legs crossed or our arms folded ? Such postures convey a degree of formality and the degree of relaxation in the communication exchange. • Physical Contact. Shaking hands, touching, holding, embracing, pushing, or patting on the back all convey messages. They reflect an element of intimacy or a feeling of (or lack of) attraction. . Dynamic Features: • Facial Expressions. A smile, frown, raised eyebrow, yawn, and sneer all convey information. Facial expressions continually change during interaction and are monitored constantly by the recipient. There is evidence that the meaning of these expressions may be similar across cultures. • Gestures. One of the most frequently observed, but least understood, cues is a hand movement. Most people use hand movements regularly when talking. While some gestures (e. g. , a clenched fist) have universal meanings, most of the others are individually learned and idiosyncratic. Looking. A major feature of social communication is eye contact. It can convey emotion, signal when to talk or finish, or aversion. The frequency of contact may suggest either interest or boredom. ( ii )Visual communication Visual communication is communication through visual aid. It is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Primarily associated with two dimensional images, it includes: signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, colour and electronic resources. It solely relies on vision.
It is form of communication with visual effect. It explores the idea that a visual message with text has a greater power to inform, educate or persuade a person. It is communication by presenting information through visual form. The evaluation of a good visual design is based on measuring comprehension by the audience, not on aesthetic or artistic preference. There are no universally agreed-upon principles of beauty and ugliness. There exists a variety of ways to present information visually, like gestures, body languages, video and TV.
Here, focus is on the presentation of text, pictures, diagrams, photos, et cetera, integrated on a computer display. The term visual presentation is used to refer to the actual presentation of information. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically oriented usability. Graphic designers use methods of visual communication in their professional practice. (iii)Oral communication Oral communication is a process whereby information is transferred from a sender to receiver usually by a verbal means but visual aid can support the process..
The receiver could be an individual person, a group of persons or even an audience. There are a few of oral communication types: discussion, speeches, presentations, etc. However, often when you communicate face to face the body language and your voice tonality has a bigger impact than the actual words that you are saying. A widely cited and widely mis-interpreted figure, used to emphasize the importance of delivery, is that “communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice, 7% content of words”, the so-called “7%-38%-55% rule”.
This is not however what the cited research shows – rather, when conveying emotion, if body language, tone of voice, and words disagree, then body language and tone of voice will be believed more than words. For example, a person saying “I’m delighted to meet you” while mumbling, hunched over, and looking away will be interpreted as insincere. You can notice that the content or the word that you are using is not the determining part of a good communication. The “how you say it” has a major impact on the receiver. You have to capture the attention of the audience and connect with them.
For example, two persons saying the same joke, one of them could make the audience die laughing related to his good body language and tone of voice. However, the second person that has the exact same words could make the audience stare at one another. In an oral communication, it is possible to have visual aid helping you to provide more precise information. Often enough, we use a presentation program in presentations related to our speech to facilitate or enhance the communication process. (B)Non-human communication Communication in many of its specifics is not limited to humans, or even to primates.
Every information exchange between living organisms — i. e. transmission of signals involving a living sender and receiver — can be considered a form of communication. Thus, there is the broad field of animal communication, which encompasses most of the issues in ethology. Also very primitive animals such as corals are competent to communicate. On a more basic level, there is cell signaling, cellular communication, and chemical communication between primitive organisms like bacteria, and within the plant and fungal kingdoms.
All of these communication processes are sign-mediated interactions with a great variety of distinct co-ordinations. (i)Animal Communication: Animal communication is any behaviour on the part of one animal that has an effect on the current or future behavior of another animal. Of course, human communication can be subsumed as a highly developed form of animal communication. The study of animal communication, called zoosemiotics’ (distinguishable from anthroposemiotics, the study of human communication) has played an important part in the development of ethology, sociobiology, and the study of animal cognition.
This is quite evident as humans are able to communicate with animals, especially dolphins and other animals used in circuses. However, these animals have to learn a special means of communication. Animal communication, and indeed the understanding of the animal world in general, is a rapidly growing field, and even in the 21st century so far, many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well understood, have been revolutionized. ii) Plant Communication: Among plants, communication is observed within the plant organism, i. e. within plant cells and between plant cells, between plants of the same or related species, and between plants and non-plant organisms, especially in the root zone. Plant roots communicate in parallel with rhizome bacteria, with fungi and with insects in the soil. These parallel sign-mediated interactions which are governed by syntactic, pragmatic and semantic rules are possible because of the decentralized “nervous system” of plants.
The original meaning of the word “neuron” in Greek is “vegetable fiber” and as recent research shows, most of the intra-organismic plant communication processes are neuronal-like. Plants also communicate via volatiles in the case of herbivory attack behavior to warn neighboring plants. In parallel they produce other volatiles which attract parasites which attack these herbivores. In Stress situations plants can overwrite the genetic code they inherited from their parents and revert to that of their grand- or great-grandparents.
Fungi communicate to coordinate and organize their own growth and development such as the formation of mycelia and fruiting bodies. Additionally fungi communicate with same and related species as well as with non-fungal organisms in a great variety of symbiotic interactions, especially with bacteria, unicellular eukaryotes, plants and insects. The used semi-chemicals are of biotic origin and they trigger the fungal organism to react in a specific manner, in difference while to even the same chemical molecules are not being a part of biotic messages doesn’t trigger to react the fungal organism.
It means, fungal organisms are competent to identify the difference of the same molecules being part of biotic messages or lack of these features. So far five different primary signaling molecules are known that serve to coordinate very different behavioral patterns such as filamentation, mating, growth, pathogenicity. Behavioral coordination and the production of such substances can only be achieved through interpretation processes: self or non-self, abiotic indicator, biotic message from similar, related, or non-related species, or even “noise”, i. e. similar molecules without biotic content. • MODELS OF COMMUNICATION A model is a representation containing the essential structure of some object or event in the real world. Because it is a representation, no model includes every aspect of the real world. If it did, it would no longer be a model. In order to create a model, we must first make some assumptions about the essential structure and relationships of objects and/or events in the real world. These assumptions are about what is necessary or important to explain the phenomena. The model may be changed or manipulated with relative ease.
Some models of communications are: (A)The Basic Model of the Communication Process This model (Figure 1) is also quite helpful in providing a simple overview of the mechanics of the communication process. In combination with the Shannon-Weaver model, it can teach us much about the practice of communicating the gospel with maximum clarity. There are six components of the communication process. FIGURE 1 BASIC COMMUNICATION MODEL [pic] 1. The Information Source The information is, of course, the gospel and we, the communicators, are the source.
There is a sense in which we are only a secondary source, God being the primary source/initiator of the entire process of communicating the gospel. Thus, we communicate only because He has first communicated through guidance. As He communicates, He continually seeks the lost through the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. 2. Encoding (Transmitting) The Signal The source “encodes” the message. This means to put the message into some kind of coded system for the benefit of the respondent (listener). We will limit our discussion to the encoding of the message into words, written and spoken.
The source must package and present the message in a manner that offers the best chance of reaching and influencing the listener. That is, the communicator puts the gospel into his or her own words, or presents someone else’s words (such as by using a strip or other gospel presentation), keeping in mind the listener’s ability to understand the message. 3. The Message This is the content of the gospel itself. 4. Noise Source Probably all of us have had the experience of answering the telephone and not being able to hear our caller over the static.
The issue here is one of “dependability” or accurate message transmission. Static or “noise” is present in the mechanics of phone-to-phone communication, and it is even more common in the mechanics of interpersonal communication. It has been estimated that even in the best of situations, communication is only 80 percent effective. Part of the reason is noise. Noise could be defined as “unwanted signals that can disrupt message devotion. ” In the arena of interpersonal communication, there are following sources of noise that hamper the transmission of the gospel from person to person. 1) Cultural noise. This comes in the form of cultural misconceptions and negative input that directly distort the understanding of the gospel by the listener. As a result, he is not able to hear accurately what we are saying. For instance, the listener may be influenced by the secular view of man as independent from and not responsible to God. Thus, he perceives the gospel to be irrelevant and quite possibly nonsense. (2) Personal noise. This static comes in the form of personal experiences and attitudes that hinder the listener from appreciating the outcomes and benefits of the gospel to himself.
For instance, He may have had a negative experience with someone or have been turned off to the gospel by past religious experiences. Noise levels and patterns differ greatly from person to person, but the unchanging gospel must be clearly communicated so that all can hear and have an opportunity to believe. 5. Decoding Upon hearing the message, the listener must interpret or decode it (Figure 2) so that he mentally grasps the message in terms that are meaningful to him. Remember, listeners decode, or understand, messages only in the framework of the presuppositions and assumptions of their personal world.
The source must encode and transmit the message with this is mind. The meanings are not so much in the words as they are in the people. “We do not transmit meaning, we transmit words. Words stimulate the meaning the other person has for them. ” As the Chinese proverb says, “90% of what we see lies behind our eyes. ” The combination of noise and decoding can take its tax on the reliability of the message. Therefore, the communicator must work to ensure that the message is received and understood with the highest degree of accuracy possible. 6. Feedback
How does the communicator know if his message has broken through the noise, been decoded correctly and penetrated the heart? The answer is to cultivate an atmosphere that encourages feedback. As Figure 2 indicates, feedback is the process by which the listener becomes the source, encoding the information he has just received from you, then giving a message back to you that reflects the degree of his understanding. Feedback is vital in evangelistic communication for at least four reasons. FIGURE 2 FEEDBACK MODEL MONOLOGUE – one-way flow of information – no feedback [pic] DIALOGUE – two-way flow of information feedback encouraged [pic] (1) An emphasis on feedback ensures a dialogue, a two-way process of honest interaction, instead of a monologue, a one-way flow of information. The listener becomes part of the communication process and, as a result, his mind, heart and will are more likely to be engaged in reasoning through the personal implications of the gospel. (2) Feedback can help you improve the accuracy of your message transmission. We must always ask ourselves, “Has the listener truly understood what I have said, or have noise and the hazards of decoding robbed my message of its fidelity? Feedback lets you know if the listener has heard you say what you meant him to hear. You will be able to evaluate how much he has truly understood the gospel. As we have already learned, this matter is crucial if we are to convince and not propagandize. (3) Feedback can help you keep the conversation personally relevant to the listener. It helps you determine his receptivity to the gospel message. Is the information causing the listener to ask the right kind of questions? The communicator who is committed to effectiveness will place a high priority on encouraging and interpreting feedback. 4) To deprive the listener of the opportunity for feedback is equivalent to saying, “I don’t care what you think about this, just let me talk. ” This attitude not only hinders the evangelist from accurately handling the word of truth, but also insults the listener’s personhood. We must respond to the listener as an individual and relate the value of the gospel to his life situation, speaking to any barriers to his full understanding of the personal implications of the gospel. Feedback is essential in this process. Conclusion from the Model The cycle is now complete. Source has become listener, and listener has become source.
In a very real sense, we become listener and source simultaneously. As we deliver the message, we are tuned in to the listener’s feedback, evaluating whether our message has fallen on hard, rocky, thorny or good soil. Source, encoding, message, noise, decoding and feedback are the necessary components of true communication. A proper understanding of each is essential to an evangelistic conversation in which the truth of the gospel is clearly and sensitively communicated. (B)Shannon & Weaver model of communication One of the first designs of the information theory is the model of communication by Shannon and Weaver in 1949.
Claude Shannon, an engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories, worked with Warren Weaver on the classic book ‘The mathematical theory of communication’. In this work Shannon and Weaver sought to identify the quickest and most efficient way to get a message from one point to another. Their goal was to discover how communication messages could be converted into electronic signals most efficiently, and how those signals could be transmitted with a minimum of error. 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. In studying this, Shannon and Weaver developed a mechanical and mathematical model of communication, known as the “Shannon and Weaver model of communication”.
So this model is also known as Mathematical (information) model of communication. The Shannon-Weaver model (see Figure 3) can be applied readily to all conversations and, in our case, is very helpful in understanding the dynamics of the evangelistic encounter. This model is especially helpful in two areas. First, it is concerned with message reliability – the degree to which a message is received and interpreted as it was intended. Second, it addresses the role of “noise” or static that may interfere with the reliability of the message. FIGURE 3 THE SHANNON-WEAVER MODEL [pic]
This model was originally devised by the Bell Telephone Laboratories to help examine the accuracy (fidelity) of message transmission. Shannon’s model, as shown in Figure 3, breaks the process of communication down into eight discrete components: 1. An information source. Presumably a person who creates a message. 2. The message, which is both sent by the information source and received by the destination. 3. A transmitter. For Shannon’s immediate purpose a telephone instrument that captures an audio signal, converts it into an electronic signal, and amplifies it for transmission through the telephone network.
Transmission is readily generalized within Shannon’s information theory to encompass a wide range of transmitters. The simplest transmission system, that associated with face-to-face communication, has at least two layers of transmission. The first, the mouth (sound) and body (gesture), create and modulate a signal. The second layer, which might also be described as a channel, is built of the air (sound) and light (gesture) that enable the transmission of those signals from one person to another.
A television broadcast would obviously include many more layers, with the addition of cameras and microphones, editing and filtering systems, a national signal distribution network (often satellite), and a local radio wave broadcast antenna. 4. The signal, which flows through a channel. There may be multiple parallel signals, as is the case in face-to-face interaction where sound and gesture involve different signal systems that depend on different channels and modes of transmission. There may be multiple serial signals, with sound and/or gesture turned into electronic signals, radio waves, or words and pictures in a book. . A carrier or channel, which is represented by the small unlabeled box in the middle of the model. The most commonly used channels include air, light, electricity, radio waves, paper, and postal systems. Note that there may be multiple channels associated with the multiple layers of transmission, as described above. 6. Noise, in the form of secondary signals that obscure or confuse the signal carried. Given Shannon’s focus on telephone transmission, carriers, and reception, it should not be surprising that noise is restricted to noise that obscures or obliterates some portion of the signal within the channel.
This is a fairly restrictive notion of noise, by current standards, and a somewhat misleading one. Today we have at least some media which are so noise free that compressed signals are constructed with an absolutely minimal amount information and little likelihood of signal loss. In the process, Shannon’s solution to noise, redundancy, has been largely replaced by a minimally redundant solution: error detection and correction. Today we use noise more as a metaphor for problems associated with effective listening. 7. A receiver.
In Shannon’s conception, the receiving telephone instrument. In face to face communication a set of ears (sound) and eyes (gesture). In television, several layers of receiver, including an antenna and a television set. 8. A destination. Presumably a person who consumes and processes the message. 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. No allowance for situational contexts. Conclusion: Studies on the model of Shannon and Weaver takes two major orientations. One stresses the engineering principles of transmission and perception (in the electronic sciences).
The other orientation considers how people are able or unable to communicate accurately because they have different experiences and attitudes (in the social sciences). It is obvious that such a model can be helpful to the evangelist who desires to communicate the gospel accurately and clearly. He wants to avoid any barriers that might prevent the gospel from taking root in the heart of the listener. The model suggests that communication within a medium is frequently direct and unidirectional, but in the real world of media, communication is almost never unidirectional and is often indirect C)The Interactive Model of Communication: The interactive model, a variant of which is shown in Figure 4, elaborates Shannon’s model with the cybernetic concept of feedback (Weiner, 1948, 1986), often (as is the case in Figure 4) without changing any other element of Shannon’s model. The key concept associated with this elaboration is that destinations provide feedback on the messages they receive such that the information sources can adapt their messages, in real time. This is an important elaboration, and as generally depicted, a radically oversimplified one. Feedback is a message (or a set of messages).
The source of feedback is an information source. The consumer of feedback is a destination. Feedback is transmitted, received, and potentially disruptable via noise sources. None of this is visible in the typical depiction of the interactive model. This doesn’t diminish the importance of feedback or the usefulness of elaborating Shannon’s model to include it. People really do adapt their messages based on the feedback they receive. It is useful, however, to notice that the interactive model depicts feedback at a much higher level of abstraction than it does messages. [pic] | |Figure 4: An Interactive Model: | (D)David Berlo’s SMCR Model of Communication: In 1960, David Berlo expanded on Shannon and Weaver’s (1949) linear model of communication and created the SMCR Model of Communication. The Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver Model of communication separated the model into clear parts and has been expanded upon by other scholars.
S M C R |Communication Skill |Content |Hearing |Communication Skill | |Attitudes |Pictures |Seeing |Attitudes | |Knowledge |Structure |Touching |Knowledge | |Social System |Code |Tasting |Social System | |Culture | |Feeling |Culture |
Communication is usually described along a few major dimensions: Message (what type of things are communicated), source / emisor / sender / encoder (by whom), form (in which form), channel (through which medium), destination / receiver / target / decoder (to whom), and Receiver. Wilbur Schram (1954) also indicated that we should also examine the impact that a message has (both desired and undesired) on the target of the message. Between parties, communication includes acts that confer knowledge and experiences, give advice and commands, and ask questions. These acts may take many forms, in one of the various manners of communication.
The form depends on the abilities of the group communicating. Together, communication content and form make messages that are sent towards a destination. The target can be oneself, another person or being, another entity (such as a corporation or group of beings). Communication can be seen as processes of information transmission governed by three levels of semiotic rules: 1. Syntactic (formal properties of signs and symbols), 2. Pragmatic (concerned with the relations between signs/expressions and their users) and 3. Semantic (study of relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent).
Therefore, communication is social interaction where at least two interacting agents share a common set of signs and a common set of semiotic rules. This commonly held rules in some sense ignores autocommunication, including intrapersonal communication via diaries or self-talk, both secondary phenomena that followed the primary acquisition of communicative competences within social interactions. In light of these weaknesses, Barnlund (2008) proposed a transactional model of communication. The basic premise of the transactional model of communication is that individuals are simultaneously engaging in the sending and receiving of messages.
In a slightly more complex form a sender and a receiver are linked reciprocally. This second attitude of communication, referred to as the constitutive model or constructionist view, focuses on how an individual communicates as the determining factor of the way the message will be interpreted. Communication is viewed as a conduit; a passage in which information travels from one individual to another and this information becomes separate from the communication itself. A particular instance of communication is called a speech act. The sender’s personal filters and the receiver’s personal filters may vary depending upon different regional raditions, cultures, or gender; which may alter the intended meaning of message contents. In the presence of “communication noise” on the transmission channel (air, in this case), reception and decoding of content may be faulty, and thus the speech act may not achieve the desired effect. One problem with this encode-transmit-receive-decode model is that the processes of encoding and decoding imply that the sender and receiver each possess something that functions as a code book, and that these two code books are, at the very least, similar if not identical.
Although something like code books is implied by the model, they are nowhere represented in the model, which creates many conceptual difficulties. (E)Transactional Model of Communication: This difference in the level of abstraction is addressed in the transactional model of communication, a variant of which is shown in Figure 5. This model acknowledges neither creators nor consumers of messages, preferring to label the people associated with the model as communicators who both create and consume messages.
The model presumes additional symmetries as well, with each participant creating messages that are received by the other communicator. This is, in many ways, an excellent model of the face-to-face interactive process which extends readily to any interactive medium that provides users with symmetrical interfaces for creation and consumption of messages, including notes, letters, C. B. Radio, electronic mail, and the radio. It is, however, a distinctly interpersonal model that implies equality between communicators that often doesn’t exist, even in interpersonal contexts.
The caller in most telephone conversations has the initial upper hand in setting the direction and tone of a a telephone caller than the receiver of the call (Hopper, 1992). In face-to-face head-complement interactions, the boss (head) has considerably more freedom (in terms of message choice, media choice, ability to frame meaning, ability to set the rules of interaction) and power to allocate message bandwidth than does the employee (complement). The model certainly does not apply in mass media contexts. [pic] | |Figure 5: A Transactional Model: | The “masspersonal” media of the Internet through this implied symmetry into even greater relief. Most Internet media grant everyone symmetrical creation and consumption interfaces. Anyone with Internet access can create a web site and participate as an equal partner in e-mail, instant messaging, chat rooms, computer conferences, collaborative composition sites, blogs, interactive games, MUDs, MOOs, and other media.
It remains, however, that users have very different preferences in their message consumption and creation. Some people are very comfortable creating messages for others online. Others prefer to “lurk”; to freely browse the messages of others without adding anything of their own. Adding comments to a computer conference is rarely more difficult than sending an e-mail, but most Internet discussion groups have many more lurkers (consumers of messages that never post) than they have contributors (people who both create and consume messages). F)Ecological Model of Communication: The ecological model of communication, shown in Figure 6, attempts to provide a platform on which these issues can be explored. It asserts that communication occurs in the intersection of four fundamental constructs: communication between people (creators and consumers) is mediated by messages which are created using language within media; consumed from media and interpreted using language. This model is, in many ways, a more detailed elaboration of Lasswell’s (1948) classic outline of the study of communication: “Who … ays what … in which channel … to whom … with what effect”. In the ecological model , the “who” are the creators of messages, the “says what” are the messages, the “in which channel” is elaborated into languages (which are the content of channels) and media (which channels are a component of), the “to whom” are the consumers of messages, and the effects are found in various relationships between the primitives, including relationships, perspectives, attributions, interpretations, and the continuing evolution of languages and media. [pic] | |Figure 6: A Ecological Model of the Communication Process | A number of relationships are described in this model: 1. Messages are created and consumed using language 2. Language occurs within the context of media 3. Messages are constructed and consumed within the context of media 4. The roles of consumer and creator are reflexive. People become creators when they reply or supply feedback to other people.
Creators become consumers when they make use of feedback to adapt their messages to message consumers. People learn how to create messages through the act of consuming other peoples messages. 5. The roles of consumer and creator are introspective. Creators of messages create messages within the context of their perspectives of and relationships with anticipated consumers of messages. Creators optimize their messages to their target audiences. Consumers of messages interpret those messages within the context of their perspectives of, and relationships with, creators of messages.
Consumers make attributions of meaning based on their opinion of the message creator. People form these perspectives and relationships as a function of their communication. 6. The messages creators of messages construct are necessarily imperfect representations of the meaning they imagine. Messages are created within the expressive limitations of the medium selected and the meaning representation space provided by the language used. The message created is almost always a partial and imperfect representation of what the creator would like to say. . A consumers interpretation of a messages necessarily attributes meaning imperfectly. Consumers intepret messages within the limits of the languages used and the media those languages are used in. A consumers interpretation of a message may be very different than what the creator of a message imagined. 8. People learn language by through the experience of encountering language being used within media. The languages they learn will almost always be the languages when communicating with people who already know and use those languages.
That communication always occurs within a medium that enables those languages. 9. People learn media by using media. The media they learn will necessarilly be the media used by the people they communicate with. 10. People invent and evolve languages. While some behavior expressions (a baby’s cry) occur naturally and some aspects of language structure may mirror the ways in which the brain structures ideas, language does not occur naturally. People invent new language when there is no language that they can be socialized into.
People evolve language when they need to communicate ideas that existing language is not sufficient to. 11. People invent and evolve media While some of the modalities and channels associated with communication are naturally occurring, the media we use to communicate are not. A medium of communication is, in short, the product of a set of complex interactions between its primary consituents: messages, people (acting as creators of messages, consumers of messages, and in other roles), languages, and media.
Three of these consituents are themselves complex systems and the subject of entire fields of study, including psychology, sociology, anthropology (all three of which study people), linguistics (language), media ecology (media), and communication (messages, language, and media). Even messages can be regarded as complex entities, but its complexities can be described entirely within the scope of languages, media, and the people who use them. This ecological model of communication is, in its most fundamental reading, a compact theory of messages and the systems that enable them.
Messages are the central feature of the model and the most fundamental product of the interaction of people, language, and media. But there are other products of the model that build up from that base of messages, including (in a rough ordering to increased complexity) observation, learning, interpretation, socialization, attribution, perspectives, and relationships. Conclusion: Models are a fundamental building block of theory. They are also a fundamental tool of instruction. Each provides the basis for considerable bodies of communication theory and research.
Each model also provides teachers with a powerful pedagogical tool for teaching students to understand that communication is a complex process in which many things can, and frequently do, go wrong; for teaching students the ways in which they can perfect different skills at different points in the communication process to become more effective communicators. Students of interpersonal communication are taught, through the use of the interactive/cybernetic and transactive models that attending to the feedback of their audience is an important part of being an effective communicator.
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