Communication Models - The Basics of Integrated Communications

Communication Models

In modern literature, communication is considered either as an action (one-way signal transmission without feedback), or as an interaction (a two-way information exchange process), or as a communicative process in which communicators alternately and continuously act as a source and recipient of information .

According to the viewpoints presented in the scientific literature, different models of communication arise from different tasks that confront the researcher. Researchers structure them for various reasons:

1) sociological.

2) psychological.

3) Semiotic.

We can single out a number of communication models (according to GG Pocheptsov):

- a model of communication in terms of PR, advertising and propaganda;

- sociological and psychological models of communication;

- semiotic models of communication;

- models of psychotherapeutic communication;

- models of mythological communication;

- models of argumentative communication;

- models of image communication;

- models of propaganda communication.

Ф. I. Sharkov identifies several approaches. The first methodological approach is based on the classical positivist methodology of subject-object dispositions. It is represented by the concepts of structural functionalism, system approach, information society, technological determinism, computer futurology, etc. The ontology of social communications in this approach is based on systemic connections and functions. Communicative technologies set the task of designing the desired image of the subject and certain social ties in the system. This approach can be compared with the principle of classical cybernetics, which assumes strict control over the behavior of the system, in which all unnecessary relationships are excluded.

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Obviously, all communication models can be structured according to functions, content, form, goals and tasks. Practical applications for today in integrative systems are the following communication models:

1. The authoritarian model - is based on the maximum restriction of freedom of information and strict administrative and managerial control of media activities. This model is described by W. Shram and D. McQueil.

2. Two-sided asymmetric model - it includes feedback, while retaining the power of the communicator over communication, which creates a certain asymmetry. This is one of the four models proposed by J. Gruing and T. Hunt, which arose in the 20-ies. XX century.

3. Two-sided symmetric model - symmetry is achieved by a balance between the recipient and the sender of the messages. Originated in the 60-70-ies. XX century, described by J. Groing and T. Hunt.

Nonclassical methodology - is based on the cognitive model of subject-object relations about the object. The author of this methodology, the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas, gave preference to positive science in the study of social subjects. As a tool for realizing the practical interests of people, he considered interpersonal & quot; interactions & quot; (communication) as a way of emancipation, liberation from various kinds of influence (politics, economics, etc.) and coercion. Yu. Habermas distinguishes & quot; true & quot; communication from & quot; false & quot; communication, tries to justify "technical rationality" transferring technical means and methods to interpersonal communications.

The post-classical approach reduces the nature of the social to subject-subject relations, excluding objectivity. Society is seen as a network of communications, and communications have the opportunity to self-describe society and its self-reproduction (the principles of self-referencing and autopoiesis by Niklas Luhmann). Communication in this case appears as an active self-organizing environment, where the simplest social-communicative systems are formed through mutual coordination of actions and experiences of the present participants of communication. The society covers all the actions that can be achieved with respect to each other in communication. Action is understood as an authentic element of a social system that is produced and perceived in it in correlation (communication) with other actions-events.

Without dwelling in detail at all, consider the most well-known models.

Aristotle's model. For example, Aristotle singled out three components of the communication process: & quot; Speaker - Speech - Audience & quot; . In the current version, it looks like this: Communicator - Message - Communicator.

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In & quot; Rhetoric & quot; Ancient Greek philosopher noted: "Speech is made up of the sin of elements: from the speaker himself, the subject he is talking about, and from the person to whom he refers; it is the ultimate goal of everything (I mean the listener). " In the conditions of oral speech, the oratory is brought to the forefront. However, it should be noted that during the time of Aristotle the speech of the speakers began to be intended not only for utterance, but also for reading. Aristotle specifically mentions this in the "Rhetoric & quot; (Book 3, Chapter 12), noting the self-sufficiency of written speech.

Thus, this model is universal - it reflects a communicative act in both oral and written forms. In this act three basic elements of communication are distinguished:


These elements, although in a slightly modified form, are reproduced in subsequent communication models. The Greek tradition of the art of rhetoric remained virtually unchanged until the 20th century. Only with the development of mass communications through radio, cinema, television and under the influence of the need to improve propaganda methods the classical model has undergone changes.

Lasswell model . In 1948 the American scientist G. Lasswell proposed his model of communication, which became classical in the sociology of mass communication.

The formula of G. Lasswell (Table 7.1) became not only a model reflecting the structure of the communication process, but also a model for studying this process, its structure and individual elements.

Table 7.1

Formula G. Lasswell

Who reports?


Management Analysis

What ?

Message (information)

Content Analysis

Which channel ?

Transmission Channel

Analyzing tools and channels


The communicant (audience)

Audience analysis

With what effect ?


Analyzing the result

In accordance with this structure, G. Lasswell identifies the following sections of the study of communication, each of which represents the answer to the corresponding question.

Analysis of management of mass communication processes: when answering the question "who?" Consider the factors that the communication act itself opens up and directs itself (first of all it is the communicator itself).

Analysis of the content of transmitted messages, here also includes a statistical analysis of the frequency of mentions of various facts and events in the media.

Analysis of the means and channels, with which messages are transmitted (for mass communication, this is an analysis of the work of the media themselves); the identification of means that are adequate to the nature of the messages sent and most acceptable to the recipient (for example, using a telephone to communicate with a deaf subscriber or computer communication to send a message to a blind person).

Audience analysis (mass, specialized), which is vital for effective communication; To solve this problem, sociological services are involved, the results of which are used by professional broadcasting corporations, advertisers, etc.

Analysis of the results ("effect") of the communication effect, often combined with the previous section for convenience; Since G. Lasswell's studies concerned the activities of the mass media, first of all their influence on the audience was studied; in general, the effectiveness of communication was evaluated based on the interest in the content of the message or the lack of such interest.

The model of G. Lasswell was widely recognized as one of the leading paradigms of theoretical comprehension of communication. This is due to its successful formulation, the framework of which allows us to include not only theoretical reasoning, but also a large array of empirical data.

In 1968, G. Lasswell proposed a more detailed version of his model of communication. It also involves studying the communication process by answering the following questions:

- Who?

- with what intention?

- in which situation?

- What resources?

- which strategy is used?

- which audience is affected?

- with what result?

This model expresses the behaviourist approach to communication as a simple effect of the communicator on the recipient, which acts as an object that somehow reacts to the information received.


This question is related to the definition of the source of information, the opinion of which may not coincide with the opinion of the communicator that directly transmits it (it can be either one person or different persons). It is important to determine to find the right answer to the second question.


This is a key question. Only after understanding the true goal of communication, we can talk about the selection of adequate tools (communicator, message, channel), the choice of target audience, etc. A clear understanding of the goal (informing, instructing or motivating the audience) determines the selection of the remaining components of communication in order for it to be effective.


The answer to this question is connected with determining in what situation - favorable, unfavorable or neutral - a communicative act is being carried out. At the same time, it is necessary to establish the presence of natural and artificial barriers between the communicator and the audience, which prevent information from reaching the addressee, and try to minimize their influence.


Answering this question, it is necessary to understand that communication resources include both the communicator specialists themselves, as well as the financial and information resources that they have, as well as effective communication technologies, techniques, methods, etc.



The answer to this question will help to choose the right strategy, and therefore, to provide the most effective way to achieve the goal (in our case - effective communication). The strategy is not only the definition of promising goals, but also the selection of adequate means and ways to achieve them. The strategy of communication is determined primarily by the nature of the goal, the characteristics of the audience, the availability of resources. When choosing a strategy, they are guided by the solution of the following tasks: providing as much information as possible; providing reliable, fast and effective feedback. There are cases when, due to the lack of necessary funds, you have to abandon a perfectly developed strategy.


This question is related to the choice of the communication audience, i.e. those to whom messages are addressed. Effective communication is associated with the right choice of audience (mass, specialized, individual people).

Search & quot; its & quot; audience and the ability to choose appropriate means and ways of communicative influence require high professionalism and mastery of methods and methods of specific social studies.


Answering this question, we mean an estimate of the total effort of the participants in the communication process. Communication is effective if the goals set are implemented in a timely manner and at the lowest cost. Communicative effectiveness is due to a change in the knowledge and attitudes or beliefs of the recipient of information.

Thus, the formula of G. Lasswell's communicative process is both a model for investigating the communicative process, and a detailed plan for the communicative action itself. At the same time, it has a significant drawback - it is monologic, its configuration does not include feedback, due to which we consider communication not as one-way and not "in itself", but as a bilateral process in its relation to the social, cultural, economic, political and other contexts. First of all, it is important for mass communication, especially in crisis situations of public life, actualizing the activity of the media and its interpretation in the mass consciousness.

Behaviorism model . The founder of behaviorism (John B. Watson) did not base the communication on language as a construction, system, but speech signals themselves, the manipulation of which makes it possible to influence a person. Man's behavior he identified with a system of visible and hidden reactions in the stimulus-reaction scheme. Behaviorists in a radical form reduced all social phenomena and processes to the interaction between stimuli that affect man and reactions to them. Reinforcing reactions, in their opinion, obeys the law of exercise, when repeated repetition of the same reactions in response to the same stimuli automates these reactions.

Shannon-Weaver Model . To. Shannon and W. Weaver have developed a mathematical theory of communication. This theory was originally designed to separate background noise from useful information transmitted by the source. According to Shannon, overcoming of noise can be achieved by using redundancy of signals (ie, repetition of message elements to prevent communicative failure).

According to K. Shannon, redundancy in communication is achieved by repeated repetition of information or its duplication using other communication channels. Thus, a model of two- or multi-channel communication will be created.

The advantage of this model lies in the fact that with its appearance arose the idea of ​​the speed and the amount of information transmitted. However, the Shannon-Weaver model has certain limitations:

mechanistic (that is, it reflects mainly the technical modes of communication, and the person is included in it only as a "source" or "receiver" of information;

abstraction from the value of the transmitted information (all attention is paid only to its quantity);

the unidirectional linear nature of the communicative process, lack of feedback.

The circular (cyclic) model of communication was proposed in the works of W. Schramm and C. Osgood.

У. Schramm believed that communication can not be regarded as a linear interaction, a process, since it is a cyclical process and during its communication its participants (source and recipient) periodically change roles. Thus, communication is treated as a two-way communication process, when both the sender and the recipient of information equally interact with each other, exchanging messages (signals), resulting in communication becoming a dialogue. It is the mechanism of the & quot; feedback & quot; makes communication more efficient.

The two-channel model of speech communication was proposed by the Russian psychologist VP Morozov, in which communication is represented as a two-channel system, but not in a technological, but in a psychological sense. VP Morozov represents communication as a two-channel process, consisting of a verbal, strictly speaking, speech linguistic and non-verbal extralinguistic channels.

His theory is based on the Shannon scheme, in which any communication system is the interaction of the following main parts:

• the source of information (the person transmitting information);

• signal (translates information in coded form);

• A receiver or listener (has the ability to decode information).

In this model, the role of the functional asymmetry of the human brain (which is the physiological basis for the independence of the nonverbal function of speech from the verbal function) was taken into account.

Two-level communication model . Studies of the role of the media have shown that after two weeks the impact of the received message does not decrease, but, on the contrary, increases. This is due to the discussion of these messages by the recipients of information with those who are called "opinion leaders." So, from the single-stage model of communication (media - recipients) a two-stage (media - opinion leaders - recipients) emerged. If at the first stage the main moment is the transfer of information, then in the second, the influence transfer takes effect. Hence the conclusion about the interpersonal priority over mass communication when trying to convince the audience.

The reliance on opinion leaders is a support for the already existing social and communication networks in this segment of society, which is much more effective than creating some new networks.

Theory & quot; Silence/silence spiral & quot; . Developed by E. Noel-Neumann. According to this theory, mass media can manipulate public opinion by providing a word to a minority instead of the majority.

According to her hypothesis, a person who feels himself in a minority does not express his opinion, thereby, as it were, joining the majority. When the mass media corrects the picture of the real distribution, making the majority a minority, it becomes silent. Thus, only one party is represented in mass communication. The other side is locked in itself. The function of public opinion is realized in social control. As a result, because a person does not want to be isolated, he either moves to the position of the majority, or is silent. In the same field lies the phenomenon of joining the winner in the voting process, noted by many researchers. E. Noel-Neumann writes that he twice had to watch the "last minute shift", the pressure of public opinion, which brought the candidate an additional 3-4% of the vote. Lazarsfeld, who witnessed this phenomenon as early as 1940 during the election of the American president, called it the "effect of an orchestral car," followed by others. According to the generally accepted explanation, each one wants to be with the winner and be considered a winner too. At the heart of this phenomenon is the fear of the individual, who is by nature a social being, to be isolated, alone.

Theory of diffusion ( spread ) innovation. Developed by the American researcher E. Rogers. He analyzed the dissemination of new ideas, products, etc. and saw a different predisposition to the new in different segments of society.

He interpreted diffusion as a process of communication of innovation through certain channels for a specific period of time to members of the social system. E. Rogers identified six stages in the behavior of potential owners of a new product in the process of adapting a new idea:

1. attention;

2. Interest;

3. score;

4. verification;

5. Acceptance

6. Verification.

The researcher also described five classes of people according to the degree of acceptance of new ideas and goods, with an average of an approximate quantitative indicator from the total mass of recipients:

1. Innovators, components of 2.5%. They are more mobile, have contacts outside their circle, can easily grasp and accept abstract ideas, agree to take risks.

2. Early adopters. These are respected people who make up 13.5% of the population. They are more tied to the local structure, among them most are "opinion leaders". Those around them are usually consulted before making an independent decision.

3. The early majority, is 34% of the population. Accept new ideas just before they are accepted by the average citizen. Their information is often obtained from the previous group.

4. Late majority. This is a skeptic of the new, whose number also reaches 34%. They accept innovations after most others have already determined their opinion on this issue and the average citizen has accepted them.

5. Late adopters. They tend to be conservative in their judgments, traditionally oriented and account for 16% of the population. Very suspicious and suspicious of everything new and adhere to traditional values. Often they lack the means.

In this case, E. Rogers believed:

• that interpersonal communication at the level of people of the same circle and age is very important;

• Patriotic appeals coming from government circles are ineffective;

• The reliability of the communicative source partially determines the success of the campaign;

• The mass media can not change the behavior of those who adhere to a different point of view.

A significant change in relation to innovation in society, as a rule, occurs when from 6 to 16% accept it.

This theory allows us to understand how to introduce a new product into the mass consciousness.

Theory of Information Barriers . Developed by psychologist Kurt Levin, who proposed a new term " gatekeeper & quot; ( gatekeeper). During World War II, he experimented with reorienting the population to cheaper meat (offal). And then the housewife, who selects, from which she will cook dinner at home, became for him the "gatekeeper" deciding what will fall into the house.

The theory can be correlated with the process of selecting news. & quot; Gatekeeper & quot; recognizes the one who controls the flow of news. He can change, broadcast, expand, repeat, withdraw information, i.e. manipulate it. The research of D. White showed that only 10% of news reports are actually used. In general, the concept of the "gatekeeper" The perception of information systems as open was shaken. For advertising and PR, this model allows you to more clearly imagine not only the audience of the media, but also those who work with it. The message you create must carry the characteristics that are necessary for both.

Theory of the distortion of news. In the structural construction of news T. Van Dijk and V. Kinc sing out macrostructures that organize this type of discourse into a single whole. They write: "Macro rules are both rules of information reduction, and the rules of its organization. Large sequences of complex semantic structures, such as sentences, images, landscapes, scenes and actions, can not be properly processed without resorting to any higher-level structures. In the process of understanding the text, we do not have access to all the sentences already read. The same applies to our understanding of everyday events and actions, the numerous details of which can only be partially restored from memory. However, if large sequences of semantic structures of this kind can be combined with macro-rules in several hierarchically organized macro-positions and if such macrostructures are a sufficient basis for further understanding of discourse, events or actions, then an extremely complex task of ordering a huge amount of semantic data "/p>

There are also interesting markers of topic change, with the help of which new episodes can be introduced into the information message:

- changing the possible world: "X ... marked, pretended ... that ...";

- change of time or period: & quot; Next day ... & quot ;, & quot; Next year ... & quot ;;

- change of place: & quot; (Meanwhile) in Sochi ... & quot ;; Entering new members;

- secondary input of already known participants by means of full nominal groups;

- change of perspective or point of view;

- a different set of predicates (changing a frame or script).

In another of his works, "Analysis of News as a Discourse & quot; T. Van Dijk singles out the scheme according to which the news event is arranged:

• a summary;

• the environment;

• Directivity;

• Complication;

• Decoupling;

• Evaluation;

• The code.

Thus, we have a toolkit for news analysis.

A separate topic is the use of metaphors, which play a special role in the processing of information by a person. J. Lakoff and M. Johnson explain this role by the fact that communication is based on the same scheme as the basis of the language. The authors propose to identify automatic schemes of action by means of language analysis, primarily metaphors. A person models the world, for example, with the notion that greater and good is consistent with top, and not bottom & quot; All of these values ​​are deeply rooted in our culture. "The future will be better" - the confirmation of progress. For the statement "There will be more in the future", you can indicate, as special cases, the accumulation of consumer goods and the increase in wages. "Your status should increase in the future" - a statement of careerism (promotion on the career ladder). These statements are consistent with our spatial metaphors, and their opposite statements do not agree with them. Therefore, we can assume that our cultural values ​​do not exist in isolation from each other, but must form a coherent system, together with the metaphorical concepts in the world where our life flows. We do not claim that all cultural values ​​agreed upon with the metaphorical system actually exist; we affirm only that those values ​​that really exist and are deeply rooted in culture are consistent with the metaphorical system. "

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