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Shannon and Weaver Model of 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

{ 213 comments… add one }
  • DENIS MZUMBWE December 19, 2020, 2:02 pm

    fantastic work

  • simbarashe December 22, 2020, 6:06 pm

    Is this type of communication one way or two way because l am seeing feedback.
    Is this communication system applied in places like military?

  • Zarahveign January 24, 2021, 7:00 pm

    This explanation is more understandable than others

  • KIZITO BRIAN March 2, 2021, 11:46 pm

    Good explanation and ideas well interpreted

  • Isaac Agea March 7, 2021, 4:45 pm

    well explained

  • bart April 21, 2021, 9:37 pm

    all good

  • Malilo May 11, 2021, 4:33 am

    Thank you so much for this information.

  • pabasara puranekotuwa June 22, 2021, 10:53 pm


  • Aileen Chapiu July 8, 2021, 3:25 am

    I found it very helpful while doing my research assignment.

  • Ekkarat Wareesing July 16, 2021, 10:56 am

    Good Idea link://

  • Patricia July 30, 2021, 2:58 pm

    How has this model influenced the development of modern communication

  • Purity njeri October 12, 2021, 11:18 pm

    Great,highly appreciated

  • Stax November 10, 2021, 12:06 pm

    Fantastic work

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