Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication

in Communication Models,Interpersonal Communication

In 1948, Shannon was an American mathematician, Electronic engineer and Weaver was an American scientist both of them join together to write an article in “Bell System Technical Journal” called “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” and also called as “Shannon-Weaver model of communication”.

This model is specially designed to develop the effective communication between sender and receiver. Also they find factors which affecting the communication process called “Noise”. At first the model was developed to improve the Technical communication. Later it’s widely applied in the field of Communication.

The model deals with various concepts like Information source, transmitter, Noise, channel, message, receiver, channel, information destination, encode and decode.

Sender :  The originator of message or the information source selects desire message

Encoder : The transmitter which converts the message into signals

Note: The sender’s messages converted into signals like waves or Binary data which is compactable to transmit the messages through cables or satellites. For example: In telephone the voice is converted into wave signals and it transmits through cables

Decoder : The reception place of the signal which converts signals into message. A reverse process of encode

Note : The receiver converts those binary data or waves into message which is comfortable and understandable for receiver. Otherwise receiver can’t receive the exact message and it will affect the effective communication between sender and receiver

Receiver : The destination of the message from sender

Note : Based on the decoded message the receiver gives their feed back to sender. If the message distracted by noise it will affect the communication flow between sender and receiver

Noise:  The messages are transferred from encoder to decoder through channel. During this process the messages may distracted or affected by physical noise like horn sounds, thunder and crowd noise or encoded signals may distract in the channel during the transmission process which affect the communication flow or the receiver may not receive the correct message

Note : The model is clearly deals with external noises only which affect the messages or signals from external sources. For example: If there is any problems occur in network which directly affect the mobile phone communication or distract the messages

Practical Example of  Shannon-Weaver model of communication :

Thomson made call to his assistant “come here I want to see you”.  During his call, noise appeared (transmission error) and his assistant received “I want” only. Again Assistant asked Thomson (feedback) “what do you want Thomson”.

Sender       :   Thomson

Encoder     :   Telephone (Thomson)

Channel     :   Cable

Noise          :   Distraction in voice

Reception  :   Telephone (Assistant)

Receiver     :   Assistant.

Due to transmission error or noise, Assistant can’t able to understand Thomson’s messages.

*The noise which affect the communication flow between them.

Criticism of Shannon-Weaver model of communication :

1.       One of the simplest model and its general applied in various communication theories
2.       The model which attracts both academics of Human communication and Information theorist to leads their further research in communication
3.       It’s more effective in person-to-person communication than group or mass audience
4.       The model based on “Sender and Receiver”. Here sender plays the primary role and receiver plays the secondary role (receive the information or passive)
5.       Communication is not a one way process.  If it’s behaved like that, it will lose its strength. For example: Audience or receiver who listening a radio, reading the books or watching television is a one way communication because absence of feedback
6.       Understanding Noise will helps to solve the various problems in communication

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

BUBERWA ISMAIL February 1, 2017 at 3:27 pm


GIDOVELE MASSAWE February 2, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Excellent&Fantastic one

Kirito March 18, 2017 at 10:29 am

excellent for those who discover that “Shannon-weaver”

evidence c March 30, 2017 at 4:32 pm

can you mention the applicability of this model(Shannon and Weaver) in an organisational set up

車売る April 8, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday.
It will always be interesting to read content from other writers and practice a little
something from their websites.

Acknowledge maguti April 10, 2017 at 9:00 pm


Primadonna valarie Ntokoma April 10, 2017 at 10:49 pm

i would realy love to learn more about this communication model.. Its amazing

M.Francisk June 1, 2017 at 9:17 pm

Dear Sir

I normal visit your site.

I would be thankful if you would send me the definition of communication given by Edward Sapir


chipo Mukarati June 3, 2017 at 10:52 pm

can you mention the applicability of this communication model in an organisation

mr.nobody June 24, 2017 at 8:29 am

awesome…I have learn something in this site…

tafadzwa paul chafanza August 9, 2017 at 2:13 pm

that’s awesome, learning something everyday

paul kiyuba September 3, 2017 at 1:24 pm

I have liked this model…

ERICK OCHOLA September 15, 2017 at 6:24 pm

It’s intresting method of communication since it’s very simple to learn and understand.Congrants to the writtrs, ‘Shannon and Weaver,’ for the good work.

saida October 12, 2017 at 11:02 am

i would really like to know how is these theory applied in our kenyan context and what phenomena does it explain

Akib Javed December 7, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Really it’s so good and easy to understand for a student.

Hamael Sajjad January 20, 2018 at 8:14 pm

I like this article because of its simple wording…very nice..

oh lord January 23, 2018 at 7:08 pm

very good very good

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