This model is also known as the Osgood-Schramm model of communication. Unlike other communication models, this model is a circular or cyclical model that consists of all the essential elements of communication.
Schramm’s Model of Communication was proposed in 1954 and had its origins in the Shannon-weaver model. Initially, it was proposed by Charles Osgood. He initially proposed that communication is not a linear model but a circular model. This model was later amended by W.Schramm, who mentioned it in his book.
This model takes a classic approach to explain the flow of communication. It suggests that communication is a two-way path with the message continually passing between the sender and receiver.
The basis for this model is that the message should be understood between the sender and receiver. For example, an art professor will not be able to explain past participle tense to a group of second standard students.
Elements of the Schramm model of communication include Encoder or Sender, Decoder or Receiver, Interpreter, and message. This model states that communication is a two-way highway, which means that information passes between the sender and receiver.
One part of this model states that the message passes from the sender to the receiver, but similarly, when the receiver sends a message back to the sender, then role reversal takes place. The sender becomes the receiver and vice versa.
This model states that two elements are required to send a message that is the sender and the receiver, and both of them have to encode and decode the message. This is crucial for the effectiveness and correct interpretation of the message.
Usually, when information reaches the recipient, he aims to comprehend what the sender is trying to convey. If the receiver cannot comprehend or decode the message sent by the sender, then the entire process of communication is of no use.
Therefore decoding and encoding should be considered as two crucial parameters for effective communication.
The model emphasizes that communication is not complete until the sender gets feedback from the receiver. The earlier model of communications used to end when the information was sent to the receiver.
They followed a unidirectional flow of communication. On the other hand, this model is based on the bidirectional flow of communication in which the sender and receiver interchange their roles. Schramm was a firm believer that communication is a two-way process.
In this model of communication, there is no fourth element, unlike Berlo’s Communication model. The message starts from the sender; it is encrypted and then passed on to the receiver.
This receiver decodes the message and understands it. Then an appropriate reply is encoded by the receiver, who then becomes the sender and sent back to the sender who is now the receiver.
Elements of Schramm’s model of communication
The sender is termed as the source of the message since he’s the one who composes and sends the message to the receiver. The message must be clear and legible, understandable by the receiver, and the sender has to take care of all of these things.
The sender has to ensure that the information or the message that he is sending to the receiver is relevant, essential, and precise. The message is usually encoded so that the recipient can decode and understand the message later.
The source of the message is the originating element from which the communication begins, but in the case of this model, it is the same place where communication ends. That is, the sender becomes the receiver and vice versa.
The receiver is also known as the decoder of the message. The receiver is the one to whom the sender’s messages are sent. There are multiple factors to consider to ensure that the recipient understands the message by decoding it.
It is also crucial that the receiver understands the source correctly, and both of them have common factors such as language, culture, understanding, etc. Because if the sender is unable to communicate in the receiver’s language, then the whole purpose of the messages is defeated.
Imagine a Japanese person and a Portuguese person trying to have a conversation when both do not understand each other. There is not a lot that will pass between them unless they have a translator or an interpreter.
Just like in coding, decoding is considered as a psychological process. The brain interprets the message received by the receiver and records it to make meaning.
The process of communication can be termed as successful only if the receiver can understand the sender.
The message is the core content of the communication, and it can be a text, audio, video, or a combination of all. The message is the communication that is passed from the sender to the receiver.
It can also be verbal or non-verbal, depending on the sender and the receiver. However, the message plays a crucial role in every communication model because it is the communication itself that is to be transferred from the sender to the receiver.
Non-verbal expressions such as handshake, facial expressions, body language, and verbal content such as text, audio, speech, message, pictures are used to communicate the message.
Sometimes an interpreter may be present to ensure that the respective receiver or the sender correctly understands the message. The interpreter analyses and interprets the message for the sender as well as the receiver.
If the interpreter misunderstands the message, then the wrong information will be sent to the receiver, which will fail the communication model.
It is a well-established fact that the recipient plays a significant role in communication models. Feedback is when the receiver starts transmitting information based on the input which he has received from the sender. This information is transmitted back to the sender. Therefore the sender in the earlier process becomes the receiver.
Feedback can also be seen as a message because it satisfies all the criteria of being a message. It originates on one side and ends on the other side. Feedback may not be as descriptive as the message itself but can include anything from a head nod in agreement to a speech.
Feedback is crucial to understand for the sender whether the receiver has understood the information correctly. This improves the effectiveness of the communication.
If the receiver is unable to comprehend the sender, the sender can make appropriate changes to the communication and transmit it back to the receiver. Questions such as ‘Can you please explain further?’ ‘Are there any doubts?’ will help you to get feedback from the receiver.
5. Semantic Noise
The semantic noise is interruptions that are caused in the process of communication. The noise disrupts the message, failing the message, and the communication process.
The intended meaning with which the sender sends the messages may or may not be understood by the receiver because of the presence of noise. Noise is responsible for diluting the message and may also result in an alteration of the meaning of the message.
For example, the sender sent the message, which says that “Buy one, get one free. Offer for a limited time.”
But the receiver only hears the first part of the message, which is “Buy one get one free.” Therefore, he understands that the offer is for an indefinite time, although this was not the sender’s intention. Hence this is called semantic noise.
Here is a video by Marketing91 on Schramm’s Model of Communication.
- This is the first model of communication, which is not a linear model. This does not assume that communication is a unilateral process but considers it a bilateral process making it a circular model. This model allows both the sender and receiver to compose and send it to the other party, thereby allowing both to be in each other’s role.
- The concept of noise is included in the communication model, which helps to understand the problems which may occur during the decoding of the message by the sender.
- Since there is a feedback system in this model of communication, it makes it easier for the sender to understand if the message has been received, interpreted, and comprehended by the receiver or not. The sender can also check if the receiver understands the message as the sender intended it.
- The model is based on the assumption that encoding and decoding do not require any external assistance and takes place independently and on its own. This is not the case in the process of communication. Both encoding and decoding require assistance. If a text message is sent to you, you cannot read it with a mobile phone.
- This model cannot deal with complex communication processes and a communication model that has different levels in it. It primarily considers that there are a sender and receiver. In reality, there may be multiple senders or receivers, and communication can be a multistep process that is not considered by this model.
Schramm’s model of communication has more practical usability than Aristotle’s, Berlo’s, or Shannon and Weaver models.
This model can be considered as an amalgamation of classic elements as well as modern elements like Semantic noise and feedback. It has more practical applications than previous communication models.