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Harold Dwight Lasswell (February 13, 1902 — December 18, 1978)


Harold Dwight Lasswell, the American political scientist states that a convenient way to describe an act of communication is to answer the following questions

  • Who
  • Says What
  • In Which Channel
  • To Whom
  • With what effect?
Lasswell Model of Communication

This model is about process of communication and its function to society, According to Lasswell there are three functions for communication:

  1. Surveillance of the environment
  2. Correlation of components of society
  3. Cultural transmission between generation

Lasswell model suggests the message flow in a multicultural society with multiple audiences. The flow of message is through various channels. And also this communication model is similar to Aristotle’s communication model.

In this model, the communication component who refers the research area called “Control Analysis”,

Says what is refers to “Content Analysis”,

In which channel is refers to “Media Analysis”,

To Whom is refers to “Audience Analysis”

With What Effect is refers to “Effect Analysis”


CNN NEWS – A water leak from Japan’s tsunami-crippled nuclear power station resulted in about 100 times the permitted level of radioactive material flowing into the sea, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Saturday.

Who – TEPC Operator

What – Radioactive material flowing into sea

Channel – CNN NEWS (Television medium)

Whom – Public

Effect – Alert the people of japan from the radiation.

Advantage of lasswell model:

  • It is Easy and Simple
  • It suits for almost all types of communication
  • The concept of effect

Disadvantage of lasswell model:

  • Feedback not mentioned
  • Noise not mentioned
  • Linear Model
{ 178 comments… add one }
  • Behailu September 24, 2016, 5:21 pm

    One of my former instructor commented that” education is putting simple ideas in a complicated ideas.”
    But this one is very clear and simple.

  • Load Tella October 30, 2016, 12:11 pm

    Very apt, straight to the point and easy o internalise for students and useful in training journalism students.

  • Miss Amoah November 9, 2016, 6:14 pm

    Its very understandable…thanks so much

  • senavi November 19, 2016, 12:09 pm

    Says What
    In Which Channel
    To Whom
    With what effect?

    of course very clearly understand . because beginner will apply your mated so it was possible to any more understand – Engineer Senavirathna (Industrial Mechanical Engineering)

  • Zamin April 28, 2017, 4:22 pm

    this model no doubt easy and understanding but to me lasswell’s not mention feedback term so we can say this is the single way (one way) communication.

  • U.c July 9, 2017, 12:37 am

    harold dwight made it a thing of easy understanding,by putting it in the way of who,says what,in which channel,to whom and with what effect.I LOVE THIS PAGE

  • Aadil Bhat September 22, 2017, 8:03 pm

    This model is quite easy to understand because this model is capable of so ideas which can easily be understood. Lasswell has made to top simple because of its nature but it’s feedback and noise makes it somehow bit more difficult but of reading nature.

  • Blessing T Madziwanzira November 27, 2017, 2:00 am

    The model is easy and it is clear as compared to that of George Gebner

  • Blessing T Madziwanzira November 27, 2017, 2:01 am

    The model is easy

  • annu January 9, 2018, 8:44 pm

    The model is fascinating

  • Louis September 15, 2018, 1:34 am

    This model is however outdated and merely out rated in this days absolutely complex and superior technology. It was worth in early days and it was by then. Accordingly its of great value in todays study as Lasswell revealed upon this mechanism and literature of communication.

  • Nellyne October 6, 2018, 4:43 pm

    It’s very understanding, thanks a lot.

  • john chihiya October 12, 2018, 2:35 pm

    it is the best way of communicating guys

  • owembabazi faith October 29, 2018, 1:40 am

    The model was well discribed and it can easily be understood by any one

  • Caleb Jambo November 10, 2018, 9:21 pm

    Easily understood

  • Miss N Vilakazi September 23, 2019, 1:31 am

    Thanks the explanation was clear and understandable. Thank you

  • Michael Akuoko Kwabena October 9, 2019, 8:53 pm

    It is very simple but may not be applicable in modern societies.

  • mhembere monica October 15, 2019, 12:05 pm

    this model is very easy but the issue of leaving feedback makes it to be a one way communication model

  • Sadaf Afreen January 16, 2020, 7:48 am

    Can I get to know more examples of Lasswell Model.

  • Lidya March 23, 2020, 7:00 am

    This model is very about process of communication and it is clear as compared to that of George Gebner.

  • Olamide April 9, 2020, 4:30 am

    Pls in a brief explanation can you explain the theory of laswell communication

  • Davis Mukwanja November 12, 2020, 1:06 am

    I it was very helpful

  • saleh December 9, 2020, 12:59 am

    I’m gathered with all said that is simple but he doesn’t show us feed back.

  • ruth gabriel June 3, 2021, 6:20 pm

    Thanks for explaining better, and the examples given even make me understand is better.

  • Lawrence March 14, 2022, 6:26 am

    It’s very easy and simple to understand

  • Israel Stephanie December 5, 2022, 6:41 pm

    I just understood it by reading it only once.am so happy I feel like am confident if am being given this in my exams to write thanks for breaking this down for us.

  • Waseem August 5, 2023, 12:02 pm

    Laswell’s model is quite simple and easy to understand. I think, if I was in his time and said something like that, it would have been called Waseem’s model.

  • Yvonnie Sakala March 3, 2024, 9:53 am

    Easy to understand,I love it

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