Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication

in Communication Models,Interpersonal Communication

In 1948, Shannon was an American mathematician, Electronic engineer and Weaver was an American scientist both of them join together to write an article in “Bell System Technical Journal” called “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” and also called as “Shannon-Weaver model of communication”.

This model is specially designed to develop the effective communication between sender and receiver. Also they find factors which affecting the communication process called “Noise”. At first the model was developed to improve the Technical communication. Later it’s widely applied in the field of Communication.

The model deals with various concepts like Information source, transmitter, Noise, channel, message, receiver, channel, information destination, encode and decode.

Sender :  The originator of message or the information source selects desire message

Encoder : The transmitter which converts the message into signals

Note: The sender’s messages converted into signals like waves or Binary data which is compactable to transmit the messages through cables or satellites. For example: In telephone the voice is converted into wave signals and it transmits through cables

Decoder : The reception place of the signal which converts signals into message. A reverse process of encode

Note : The receiver converts those binary data or waves into message which is comfortable and understandable for receiver. Otherwise receiver can’t receive the exact message and it will affect the effective communication between sender and receiver

Receiver : The destination of the message from sender

Note : Based on the decoded message the receiver gives their feed back to sender. If the message distracted by noise it will affect the communication flow between sender and receiver

Noise:  The messages are transferred from encoder to decoder through channel. During this process the messages may distracted or affected by physical noise like horn sounds, thunder and crowd noise or encoded signals may distract in the channel during the transmission process which affect the communication flow or the receiver may not receive the correct message

Note : The model is clearly deals with external noises only which affect the messages or signals from external sources. For example: If there is any problems occur in network which directly affect the mobile phone communication or distract the messages

Practical Example of  Shannon-Weaver model of communication :

Thomson made call to his assistant “come here I want to see you”.  During his call, noise appeared (transmission error) and his assistant received “I want” only. Again Assistant asked Thomson (feedback) “what do you want Thomson”.

Sender       :   Thomson

Encoder     :   Telephone (Thomson)

Channel     :   Cable

Noise          :   Distraction in voice

Reception  :   Telephone (Assistant)

Receiver     :   Assistant.

Due to transmission error or noise, Assistant can’t able to understand Thomson’s messages.

*The noise which affect the communication flow between them.

Criticism of Shannon-Weaver model of communication :

1.       One of the simplest model and its general applied in various communication theories
2.       The model which attracts both academics of Human communication and Information theorist to leads their further research in communication
3.       It’s more effective in person-to-person communication than group or mass audience
4.       The model based on “Sender and Receiver”. Here sender plays the primary role and receiver plays the secondary role (receive the information or passive)
5.       Communication is not a one way process.  If it’s behaved like that, it will lose its strength. For example: Audience or receiver who listening a radio, reading the books or watching television is a one way communication because absence of feedback
6.       Understanding Noise will helps to solve the various problems in communication

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

dinnah mutamba April 6, 2015 at 1:54 am

I really appreciate wt you gav us,but you need to updat your information according to the technology

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Type TK May 19, 2015 at 12:23 am

wonderful and fantastic but sophisticated

hon May 28, 2015 at 10:11 pm

add more details

innocent June 6, 2015 at 4:16 pm

this is nice explanation

Lamex blix October 21, 2015 at 4:02 pm

What are the three levels in Shannon and weaverz mode? What problems are dealt with at each and every level ?

Lily January 13, 2016 at 9:18 pm


gena tesh February 18, 2016 at 4:27 pm

what about transmission ritual ,publicity and reception. i read some where that these are models of communication

Kibhuli D M February 20, 2016 at 4:13 pm

It is good explanation

Fanice Waswa March 8, 2016 at 11:04 am

There can’t be a better definition. Excellent.

Papa Shandus March 15, 2016 at 1:58 pm

I just wanna feel liberated, yayayayaya…

Esther Ajambo March 31, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Thanks but Communication is not a one was process

Mogwasi Delvas Mwamba April 18, 2016 at 1:22 pm

a good explanation,,,simple and clear to the point,,,Regards.

CALISTO BLESSMORE MARIME May 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm

really so impressed about well explained model with short and precise notes which understandable.

orique May 15, 2016 at 4:34 pm

crisp..well documented.

shomith kp May 25, 2016 at 12:32 am

i got more infermation,,,,good explanation …………..

farai d charura May 26, 2016 at 3:16 pm

thank you ,you helped in my assignment

mtonga judith June 1, 2016 at 2:44 am

i love the book

chilufya ngosa fred June 6, 2016 at 3:15 pm

nice explanation,i rilly enjoy it

chilufya ngosa fred June 6, 2016 at 3:17 pm

i riily learn alot to yo explannation

Sir Pondo June 7, 2016 at 10:10 am

So simple and straight…easy to understand. Thank you so much…

Sir Pondo June 7, 2016 at 10:13 am

Well explained…

kim lei sio June 26, 2016 at 11:31 am

.. thank you for a very helpful explanation .. good job .. best regards

zel castillo July 3, 2016 at 7:15 am

What is the similarities between Shannon-weaver model and transaction model? Please answer ASAP I need it.. thank you

mwalo vincent July 5, 2016 at 3:02 pm

thank you.

millen malinao July 8, 2016 at 5:32 am

thanks for the info.

ANAROSE RONA July 19, 2016 at 12:15 am


neenu mv August 9, 2016 at 8:44 pm

simple and well explained

abram September 27, 2016 at 10:04 pm

this is incorrect in this model no feedback

KENNEDY WAKABA October 10, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Using at least two models of communication .Explain how and why the teacher should communicate.

Janeffer Irungu October 13, 2016 at 9:56 am

Kimdly explain .strengths and weakness of models of communications

Dun October 23, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Good and brief description

SHARON TANAKA NYAKUVAMBWA October 23, 2016 at 9:34 pm

thank you very much for the information. however as students we need more . not only do we need the criticism part but also more of how useful this model and real life examples of this era.

SHARON TANAKA NYAKUVAMBWA October 23, 2016 at 9:38 pm

thank you so much for the information which is very useful especially to students studying communication. however more should be given . i also feel the need to have the usefulness of this method (not only criticisms) and the real life application of today’s era

saidi November 2, 2016 at 3:27 pm

needs more explanation on criticism as well definition of Shannon model of communication otherwise thnks 4 information allah bless you

Tadiwanashe basera November 6, 2016 at 10:51 pm

thank you for the explanation …you realy helped

George Zacharia November 9, 2016 at 12:59 am

Very confused as I read Linear model of communication,where I read that there is no concept of feedback,and related the Shannon n Weaver’s.Here feedback is concepted.So,I’m realy Confused.

Agatha Flotian November 15, 2016 at 1:15 am

I need more explanation on weaknesses an strengths

komal November 17, 2016 at 10:48 am

Good explanation

Rachin Deshwal November 27, 2016 at 11:09 am

There is no feedback in the Shannon and Weaver model (1949). You are discussing the wrong model as far as communications as a subject is concerned.

Mpesila, Omari .G November 29, 2016 at 11:58 pm

…..too shallow,….need more explaination…..

samuel December 3, 2016 at 2:34 am

it is so amazing to me you really help me on my assignment
big up…….

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