Lasswell’s model

in Communication Models

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

{ 109 comments… read them below or add one }

Anthony November 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm

All in all, the communication model is good, but the feedback in any communication is important

Engineer Symon Mwangi November 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm

It is very important that the model is comprising of almost all the models in communication,bt i think it being important to show and sort out the feedback and change the monotonous kind of linear communication. Noise background ia also important in any communication

Calvin November 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm

His assumption are not bad but at a certain extent its irrelevant since it does not talk about feedback which is crucial for effective communication

lulua mohamed December 6, 2013 at 11:48 am

Lasswell has given us a good theory though there are some weaknesses,like that of feedback

ANASTAS MFILINGE January 24, 2014 at 6:20 pm


mshamenour January 29, 2014 at 11:54 pm

the model is good, but it has many weekness, the model lack feed back and also noise is not mentioned in the model. and last, the model is too lineal and lack interaction

Fadhili Mohamedi February 5, 2014 at 1:47 am

Thanks For A Good Work But Feedback Is Vital In Any Communication

Chai February 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm

It is linear because it’s a one way observation from the communicator towards the audience, but i don’t think that’s a weakness. It should, of course, be used with studies that its Communication model can support, and it is perfect for observations and surveys since those don’t really require that great of an interaction between the elements involved in the communication.

GILBERT PIUS April 13, 2014 at 11:42 pm

good work but no fedback

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