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

{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

MARTIN M SHIMBA November 25, 2013 at 1:40 am

at least i got it!.thanks

khadija mzee ali December 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm

This model iz complecated bt ezy to understand coz other sources indicate that elements like feedback was introduced by Dr wilbur schram

khadija mzee ali December 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Didifferent from wt iz shown in their model

Ndomupeishe Muswibe December 10, 2013 at 11:46 am

Thank you for the simplified version of shannon’s model of communication

Kihemba Ramadhani December 17, 2013 at 12:20 am

Thank’s for your simplification, keep it up.

diib January 15, 2014 at 2:30 am

in this case the sender is an intellectual person,but he is not -not always-

Melusi January 21, 2014 at 6:13 am

Guys, do you think that Shannon’s model will be more suitable for your organisation?

ANASTAS MFILINGE January 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm

It is not exactly suitable since even sender may be a source of breakdown as by using ambiguities,

2lz February 28, 2014 at 12:04 am

thanks to this simply model of comunication by shannon and weaver

sinethemba March 9, 2014 at 6:41 pm

it sounds clear… And their pics made it easier to understand

Mahlatsi LefaVic March 12, 2014 at 10:41 am

Thanx for a better simplified diagram

@Melusi I think it will work for anyones organisations as long as u foloow all the Routes of the Shannon and weaver method.

Airport Transfers March 18, 2014 at 4:57 am

I know this web page gives quality dependent content and additional data, is there
any other site which offrs such stuff in quality?

waswa simon March 19, 2014 at 11:29 pm

thnx for da data 4 ma research

McKINNON TAFADZWA CHINOWE April 12, 2014 at 1:27 am

This is a little bit complecated , but however, it is useful in many occasions. Thank you

musa ikomba April 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm

not only noise can be the factor affecting communication but also there are other factor like the nature instrument used

kelvin harry chabwa malawi June 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm

indeed not only noise is a barrier of this model……

Rosa June 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Hurrah, that’s what I was looking for, what a stuff!
present here at this webpage, thanks admin of this website.

free xbox live gold membership codes yahoo answers June 21, 2014 at 11:59 am

hi!,I really like your writing so a lot! percentage we communicate more approximately your article on AOL?

I need a specialist on this area to solve my problem.
Maybe that’s you! Taking a look forward to see you.

Sana ullah gujjar June 27, 2014 at 12:08 am

Yes! This is what i looking for it

LEONE June 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Could you please include advs and demerit of this model.otherwise am grateful for your information thumbs up.

Jacktone Muhunzu July 28, 2014 at 3:22 pm

The comment is always with me

Alex Osunga July 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm

this model is very easy to understand and it has simplified the communication process.thanks to Shannon and Weaver.

manisha kumari August 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Thank you for the simplified version of shannon’s model of communication

kulvir singh September 4, 2014 at 11:28 pm

it’s very simple to understanding

kulvir singh September 4, 2014 at 11:30 pm

thanx 4 giving the data which I searching……

Obwana joel September 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Thnx for the research ,bse makes our leaning easy .i also argue you to drop merits end dmerits..otherwise thnz

mhakure October 13, 2014 at 12:11 pm

the diagram z quite clear in that u ken giv ea brief xplanation in yo own words.thanx fr dt

Lloyd Mateva October 13, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I liked this………well phrased

ashley josi October 20, 2014 at 10:54 pm

aahh its good … well understood and very clear in like it

magodora October 21, 2014 at 1:51 pm

is this a two way communication

sylvia mambohatumwi October 30, 2014 at 3:33 am

that was nice though the criticisms are not clearly expained

soooo November 4, 2014 at 6:52 am


soooo November 4, 2014 at 6:52 am

too simple

roselin November 10, 2014 at 3:09 pm

The model is ok though with advancement in technology may prove 2 b complicated

Lynn Gandi November 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm

thankyou so much for such an informative piece even though there are no drawbacks and merits of the model

Erick bifa December 5, 2014 at 12:02 am

the model does not consider feedback

katy January 12, 2015 at 4:35 am

it s good ,but we need more examples about means of communication with technology (computers…)

Sofia Stewart January 17, 2015 at 11:06 am

Saved as a favourite, great internet site!

arjita February 7, 2015 at 7:46 pm

hey, the diagram is incorrect! Shannon model does NOT include FEEDBACK.

Liena February 12, 2015 at 11:51 pm

Just wondering , why would the Shannon Model be great for any organization ?

Liena February 12, 2015 at 11:59 pm

Can you use this model in a call center business , how wil the company benefit then ?

Miley Kwindingwi February 13, 2015 at 7:05 pm

very understandable n simplified!

GRETTA MOYO February 17, 2015 at 3:05 pm

well it is quite straight forward…. i really liked it

Dixon T Baya February 23, 2015 at 4:45 pm

simple,easy to understand,modified and fabulous…five star

Dixon T Baya February 23, 2015 at 4:47 pm

I love this theory as explained on this site,easy to read and understand

EVANS CHITANHA [SOFTAZ] February 25, 2015 at 11:24 pm

quiet understandable. hats off the Weaver family.

wakisomo March 5, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Easy to understand…..well done

tygatee March 17, 2015 at 2:50 pm


Maroba Webir0 March 26, 2015 at 12:57 pm

very good

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