Shannon Weaver’s (1954) Model of Communication

Introduction

In 1948, Claude Shannon, an American engineer and Warren Weaver, an American scientist invented a model known as the “Shannon Weaver’s Model“.

The model’s aim is specially designed to develop effective communication between the sender and receiver. At first the model was developed to improve the communication through telephone and other technologies which could be implemented. Not only does it serve to aid technologies at that point in time but it also aims to target in the future inventions and developments.


Breakdown Of Model

Shannon Weaver’s Model (1954)
Modern Shannon Weaver’s Model

In this model there are various keywords like transmitter, message, receiver, destination, encode and decode.

  • Sender

The originator of message or the information source or known as the person initiating the conversation.

  • Encoder

The transmitter which converts the message sent into signals.

  • Decoder

Basically a reverse process of an encoder.

  • Receiver

The destination of the message from the sender.


Flow Of Model

Through various research, I realised that this model is effective in serving its purpose without much thinking. To make it easier to understand, basically the sender will prepare the information he wants to transmit to the receiver. He will then encode it to a transmitter and the message will be passed through a channel. Over there, there are many factors which can affect the flow of this conversation. The main factor that would cause this disruption is noise pollution which comes in many different forms. Be it a car honking in the middle of the streets to the subtle cries of a baby, noise is something that one cannot avoid. Once the receiver receives the encoded message, he will then decode it and give his feedback of the message received, continuing the flow of this model.



Norbert Wiener

Changes To the Model

However, there was an issue in the original version of this model. The model only shows that conversation only goes one way and there was no way the receiver could respond or acknowledge. That’s where American mathematician, Norbert Wiener suggested the inclusion of a feedback in the loop which connects the receiver to the original sender therefore, completing the loop.


Completed Vs Uncompleted Model

Completed

If the completed model is being used, the receiver can provide the sender with an acknowledgment or response saying that the message has been received and decoded. It can even lead to clarifications that the received message has the correct information. Therefore, this continues the flow of the conversation.

Uncompleted

If the uncompleted model is being used, any factors affecting the process of the message being sent over will result in the message being incomplete or distorted. The receiver will have no way of requesting the message to be sent again, resulting in the end of the conversation.

For even further understanding, I have created this simple mind map to show how the model works in a real world scenario. As you can see, the father’s message was transmitted to his daughter but as a result of the noise generated by the television, the daughter could not decipher his message. Her feedback would be received by the father and then he will then repeat his message which will continue this conversation.


Advantages & Disadvantages

Of course in everything there are always its good and bad sides. Lets discuss them!

Advantages

  • The model identifies the factor that causes the message to be disrupted during the process.
  • The model shows that communication is a two way process.
  • Explains about effective communication.

Disadvantages

  • The model was originally used to be applied to telecommunication rather than human communication.
  • Feedback feels like is less important compared to the message being sent out.


Conclusion

Despite it being an idea that originated in 1954, the Shannon & Weaver’s Model is still relevant in our current society. From us communicating with our loved ones, it even shaped how technology works today. The Shannon-Weaver model of course isn’t flawless. Many criticised that the model makes communication too simple and it being a one way thing. With that being said, nothing changes the fact that the principles of this model laid the foundation of many modern models and theories.


Resources

Images:

References:

9 thoughts on “Shannon Weaver’s (1954) Model of Communication

  1. Hello Lucas! It is indeed nice to read up the post of your understanding about Shannon Weaver’s Model while it seems like both of us have the same concept of understanding about this model which is quite impressive and this shows that Prof. Jess taught us well ! =) I felt that the feedback should have implemented when the model is on process for invention together with Shannon’s and Weaver’s instead of adding on after the invention which I felt is a disruption in it, while that is human nature of conflicts but hope this model could be effective in our daily communication in life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lucas! Great explanation of the Shannon Weaver’s model and I like your short and concise explanation of the concepts. I also like how you compared the completed and uncompleted model, and also, how you created your own mind map to further show your understanding and how it is applied in a real-world scenario. I agree the Shannon Weaver’s mode is still relevant in our current society even though it originated in 1954. Even it is flawed but it is still the foundation for many models and theories today. All in all, great post! Looking forward to your next post.

    Cheers,
    Benedict.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lucas! I found it interesting in reading your post as your blog is organised and easy to read and understanding about the explanation of the model for example, the flow of the model as I learnt that noise pollution can also disrupt the flow of the conversation. It is also good that you compared and explain between the completed model and uncomplete model how both will affect the communication process differently. I agree with you that even though the model has many criticisms, this communication model can still be applied in many different communication models and theories. Overall, your blog was great and in detail. Hope to read more of your blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Lucas! Thought that you gave a very precise and detailed explanation of the Shannon and Weaver Model. I like your description, and how you draft your model as an example. It gives a clear and realistic understanding of how the whole idea works. You also listed the advantages and disadvantages, which allows viewers to identify, that the model does have its flaws.

    I agree with your conclusion, I think that even though the Shannon-Weaver model is not flawless, it is still the “Mother of all models” and it has indeed proven applicable despite decades has passed.
    Overall good post, really enjoyed reading it.

    Cheers,
    Desmond

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Lucas! I find that your post is well written! It is very organized and well explained on Shannon and Weaver’s model. I have seen that you have added the hyperlink and YouTube video on some words which is good. It helps to save space and allow the reader to get directed to the website. What a great idea you have! I also notice that you included Norbert Wiener in your post who also contributed the 7th concept of the model making it a complete loop instead of a linear model that was designed earlier. It is interesting to know that the model had more contributors other than Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi ! I think your explanation of the model is excellent and I like your consistent explanation of the concepts. I also like how you compared the completed and uncompleted model, and also, the way you created your own mind map to further show your understanding and how it is applied in a real-world scenario. I don’t agree the Shannon Weaver’s mode is still relevant in our current society because technology has changed rapidly, people have more ways to communicate, so there are more things that need to consider, so I think this model is no longer applicable to today’s society. Even it is flawed because it fails to consider human emotion, body language, culture or the psychological state of the persons involved but it is still the foundation for many models and theories today. All in all, great post! Looking forward to your next post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Lucas, it is a really nice blog post about Shannon and Weaver communication model. I think it is a great read because you explained the theory well. The keywords like the Sender, Encoder, Decoder and Receiver is simple, straightforward and easy to understand. It is impressive of you to show a simple diagram of how the model is being use by giving some common real life example! Hope you can apply what you learn from the Shannon and Weaver model to your closes one especially with your girlfriend! Thank you for sharing, looking forward for your next blog post (:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Lucas,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post about the Shannon and Weaver communication model. Your blog post explains the model in great depth, yet it is still easy to understand. I especially love the real-life examples mentioned in your post to help reinforce your point and give the reader a greater understanding by connecting to our everyday lives.
    I completely agree with your opinion regarding how Shannon and Weaver’s model is still relevant in our current society, despite the fact that it was a theory from over 50 years ago! In spite of that, you have stated that the model isn’t flawless. This is very true indeed! Communication between individuals has evolved so much over the decades.
    I look forward to reading more posts from your blog, keep it up! Stay safe and have a great semester!
    Warmest Regards,
    Jerome

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Lucas,

    Nice write up you have on Shannon Weaver’s model. The introduction is very interesting, it was nice learning the background of the Shannon Weaver’s model. Love that you added some links for your readers to learn more about them. Your diagrams are very clear and concise, helping readers like me to understand the concept more easily. Glad that you mentioned the completed model with the feedback loop as it greatly improved the model, albeit it lacking in details. I fully agree with you that this model is still very relevant and laid a strong foundation for models of communication despite its shortcoming.

    Cheers,
    Jun Sheng

    Liked by 1 person

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