Models of Communication

Communication models are systematic representations of the process which helps in understanding how communication works can be done. Models show the process metaphorically and in symbols. They form general perspectives on communication by breaking communication from complex to simple and keeps the components in order. Communication models can sometimes encourage traditional thinking and stereotyping but can also omit some major aspects of human communication.

Methods and channels of communication to be used and the purpose of communication, must be considered before choosing a specific communication model. Models are used by business companies and other firms to foster their communication, explore their options and to evaluate their own situations. It is also used to understand how the receivers will interpret the message.

Types of Communication Model

There are three general types of communication models in which all other communication models are mostly categorized. 

Features, advantages and disadvantages of linear, transactional and interactive model.

Linear Model of Communication

Linear model of communication is a simple one way communication model. The message flows in a straight line from sender to the receiver. There is no concept of feedback. The only task that a receiver does here is to receive the message. Different models that follow linear model of communication are:

Transactional Model of Communication

In transactional model, senders and receivers both are known as communicators and both play equally important role in communication. Transactional model relates communication with social reality, cultural up-bringing and relational context (relationships). Non-verbal feedback like gestures, body language, is also considered as feedback in this model. Different models that follow transactional model of communication are:

Interactive Model of Communication

Interactive model or convergence model is similar to transactional model as they are both two way communication model. But, interactive model is mostly used for new media like internet. Here, people can respond to any mass communications like videos, news, etc. People can exchange their views and ideas. Different models that follow interactive model of communication are:

Other Communication Models

Dance’s Helical Spiral of Communication

In 1967, Dance made a communication model based on a helix known as helical model. He explains how a child learns to communicate and the child grows up and continues to communicate. Communication depends on previous experiences and activities of the speaker according to this model.

Westley and MacLean’s Conceptual Model

Westley and MacLean's model explains the difference between interpersonal and mass communication as feedback. Feedback can be direct in interpersonal communication whereas indirect in mass communication. According to this model, communication starts from the environment and not when the message is spoken or shown.