Harold Dwight Lasswell (February 13, 1902 — December 18, 1978)


Harold Dwight Lasswell, the American political scientist states that a convenient way to describe an act of communication is to answer the following questions

  • Who
  • Says What
  • In Which Channel
  • To Whom
  • With what effect?

Lasswell Model of Communication

This model is about process of communication and its function to society, According to Lasswell there are three functions for communication:

  1. Surveillance of the environment
  2. Correlation of components of society
  3. Cultural transmission between generation

Lasswell model suggests the message flow in a multicultural society with multiple audiences. The flow of message is through various channels. And also this communication model is similar to Aristotle’s communication model.

In this model, the communication component who refers the research area called “Control Analysis”,

Says what is refers to “Content Analysis”,

In which channel is refers to “Media Analysis”,

To Whom is refers to “Audience Analysis”

With What Effect is refers to “Effect Analysis”


CNN NEWS – A water leak from Japan’s tsunami-crippled nuclear power station resulted in about 100 times the permitted level of radioactive material flowing into the sea, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Saturday.

Who – TEPC Operator

What – Radioactive material flowing into sea

Channel – CNN NEWS (Television medium)

Whom – Public

Effect – Alert the people of japan from the radiation.

Advantage of lasswell model:

  • It is Easy and Simple
  • It suits for almost all types of communication
  • The concept of effect

Disadvantage of lasswell model:

  • Feedback not mentioned
  • Noise not mentioned
  • Linear Model

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

MOHD ABASS BHAT June 23, 2016 at 11:19 am

while analysing social conflicts who said that behind struggle there is a castration complex lasswell says that

Eric Mwiti Mwirichia July 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm

ITS VERY SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND .Can u guys translate to swahili languange coz i ave found it difficult when iwas doing my research of swahili .Thanh you

Behailu September 24, 2016 at 5:21 pm

One of my former instructor commented that” education is putting simple ideas in a complicated ideas.”
But this one is very clear and simple.

Load Tella October 30, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Very apt, straight to the point and easy o internalise for students and useful in training journalism students.

Miss Amoah November 9, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Its very understandable…thanks so much

senavi November 19, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Says What
In Which Channel
To Whom
With what effect?

of course very clearly understand . because beginner will apply your mated so it was possible to any more understand – Engineer Senavirathna (Industrial Mechanical Engineering)

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