Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication Examples & Explanation

Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication Explanation & Example. Also, Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver's Model. Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication Example Situation.

Shannon and Weaver's Model of Communication

American mathematician Claude Elwood Shannon and scientist Warren Weaver introduced a linear communication model in 1949 in the article THE MATHEMATICAL THEORY OF COMMUNICATION. Therefore, it is called Shannon and Weaver's communication model. Initially, they proposed this mathematical model to describe the signal-transmitting system and enhance telephone communication by minimizing noise. Now it is applied in every field of information and communication broadly. However, they did not present the "Feedback"; thus, the Shannon and Weaver model is an example of a linear communication model. Initially, the Shannon-Weaver model excluded feedback; hence, it is a linear communication model. Therefore, it was an incomplete communication model for not including Feedback and different types of nonverbal communication cues.

Later, Norbert Weiner included feedback on the model in countering the criticism of the one-way communication approach. Shannon and Weaver's communication model is called the "Mother of all Communication Models" for its extreme popularity. It is also called the mathematical theory of communication, Shannon theory, and information theory in the engineering disciplines.

Shannon Weaver Model Linear or Transactional

Shannon and Weaver introduced the linear communication model with six elements: information source, transmitter, channel, receiver, destination, and noise source. The authors did not add feedback to this model in 1949; therefore, it is a linear communication model. However, later the feedback was included by Norbert Wiener in 1950.

Feedback in Shannon Weaver Model

In 1950, Norbert Wiener added the "Feedback" in Shannon and Model. He presented the feedback system in the book (The Human Use of Human Beings) initially published in 1950. Norbert Wiener is also the founder of cybernetics theory, which explains the feedback system. Shannon and Weaver have not published the modified model, including feedback. Hence, the original model of Shannon and Weaver is linear, as they did not mention feedback.

Shannon-Weaver Communication Model Examples of Situation

The 3 Examples Situation of the Shannon-Weaver Model are:

  1. Ordering Food Through Foodpanda
  2. Simple Job Application Email
  3. Listening to News on Radio
Shannon-Weaver Communication Model Examples of Situation-1: "Ordering Food Through Foodpanda"
  • In this scenario, the customer is the sender of the information who orders a meal through the Foodpanda Mobile App (Information Source).
  • The customer encodes messages and transmits them through a signal via a mobile application using TCP/IP sockets (Transmitter).
  • Mobile application is the channel to transmit messages from senders to receivers (Channel).
  • The communication might interfere with Electrical Noise generated random movement of electrons in the electronic device (Noise).
  • The device of food delivery is the receiver of the message. The delivery person and restaurant authority are the destination of the message who will process the food (Destination).
Shannon-Weaver Model Examples of Situation-2: "Simple Job Application Email "
  • The applicants write a simple job application email with a CV attachment (Sender or Source of Information).
  • The Gmail email software converts ideas into text messages to transmit them (Transmitter).
  • The internet-based email conveys the message to HR professionals (Channel).
  • Noise like spam filters or internet issues might interfere (Noise).
  • The HR manager receives the email and takes further action (Receiver).
  • The manager retains the email cover letter with the attached resume or forwards it to the concerned professional (Destination).
Examples of Situation of Shannon-Weaver Model-3: "Listening News on Radio"

Jon is listening to the morning news via the radio. The news presenter broadcasts news regarding today's weather forecast. However, he cannot hear the report of the radio frequency interference (RFI). RFI is created from an internal wireless system. The news presenter is the information source, the radio is the channel, Jon is the receiver, and radio frequency interference is also known as electrical noise.

These are the 3 example situations of the Shannon-Weaver model.

Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication Explanation

The Shannon and Weaver communication model includes six elements: Information Source, Transmitter, Channel, Receiver, Destination, and Noise Source. However, Shannon and Weaver did not mention "Feedback" in 1949; hence, it is a linear communication model like the Aristotle model and Lasswell communication model. Many researchers and practitioners criticize this model for not adding "Feedback." Therefore, later, Norbert Weiner included "Feedback" to describe the transactional communication process.

Many communication models have been postulated based on this model- for example, Eugene White's model and Osgood-Schramm's transactional model.

Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication Elements

The Six Elements of Shannon and Weaver's Model of Communication are:

  1. Information Source.
  2. Transmitter.
  3. Channel.
  4. Receiver.
  5. Destination.
  6. Noise Source.
Shannon and Weaver model of Communication explanation
Shannon and Weaver's Model of Communication
 1. Information Source

Information source refers to the sender of the communication process that conveys the message to the receiver. It also indicates the person who generates the information and initiates the communication process.

For example, the lecturer gives a motivational speech to new students in the orientation program using a dynamic microphone. In the meantime, an airplane passes over the program. So students can not hear the lecturer's speech for a while.

2. Transmitter

The transmitter refers to the message converter that changes the message into a signal to transfer through the communication channel. It is also called the encoding process. The messages are spoken words, written messages, pictures, music, and nonverbal cues.

For example, the lecturer's speech is transmitted through the dynamic microphone. The microphone converts the spoken word into a signal to transfer via an electrical current on the wire.

3. Channel

Channel is the medium that conveys the message from senders to receivers. Communicators utilize distinguished channels based on communication, such as human senses, radio, television, newspapers, electronic tools, social media, and so on.

For example, the wire is the channel that conveys messages from the lecturer to students.

4. Receiver

Receivers are the people who convert the signal into a meaningful message. They are responsible for decoding the message. So, the receiver is the decoder of the communication process.

For example, students are the receivers who process the signal and sound into a meaningful message.

5. Destination

Destination indicates both senders and receivers of the communication process who encode and decode the message.

According to Shannon and Weaver's Model, "when I talk to you, my brain is the information source, yours the destination; my vocal system is the transmitter, and your ear and the associated eighth nerve is the receiver."

6. Noise

Noise is the unwanted sound of the communication process that disrupts effective communication. Communicators found noises in every communication process, including verbal, nonverbal, written, visual, face-to-face, mediated, and group communication. The most common types of noise in communication are physical, physiological, psychological, semantic, electrical, syntactical, cultural noise, and so on.

For example, airplane sound is considered the physical noise in communication that distracts the students from hearing the speech.

Shannon and Weaver Communication Model Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Shannon and Weaver's Model

1. Explain IT-Based Communication: Firstly, Shannon and Weaver's theory enhances telephone communication by representing six essential elements. It articulates the signal-transmitting system through the medium. The model provides a clear and straightforward framework for understanding the technology-based communication process. This simple model can be used in multiple contexts.

2. Representing Key Components (Noise): For the first time, this theory explains the communication noises that barrier effective message transmission. Noise is a significant communication component. This model includes key components of the communication process including noise. Many communication theories avoid noise as the unwanted key component in communication. Controversly, it is the first linear model that explains noise as a fundamental element.

3. Diverse Applicability: Shannon and Weaver's model can be used to explain diverse communication contexts including interpersonal, social, mass, digital, and organizational communication.

4. Technological Relevance: This model was established in 1948; however, it is still relevant to analyze digital communication. Finally, Shannon-Weaver's framework is the first communication model that explains the message-sending process through an instrument. It has contributed to the development of telecommunications systems, digital coding techniques, and data transmission technologies.

Shannon and Weaver Communication Model Disadvantages

1. Linear and One-Way: Firstly, It is a linear communication model due to not demonstrating Feedback. The model describes that communication is a one-way process. However, most communication processes are two-way in directional manners. Therefore, this model is inappropriate for analyzing transactional communication processes like face-to-face discussions.

2. No Feedback: The Shannon-Weaver model does not include feedback in communication. Avoiding feedback is the major weakness of this model because every transactional communication holds feedback.

3. Focus on Technological Context: Shannon and Weaver's model highlights technological communication context overlooking social, psychological, and cultural contexts. Shannon Weaver's model was designed to explain mediated communication.


In short, the Six Elements of the Shannon and Weaver Model o are Information Source, Transmitter, Channel, Receiver, Destination, and Noise Source. Eventually, Norbert Weiner included the seventh element(Feedback) to make it a transactional communication model. Shannon and Weaver's Model was introduced in 1949 and is undoubtedly a linear communication model like Aristotle, Lasswell, and David Berlo's SMCR Model.

Established Year of the Shannon-Weaver Model?

The Shannon and Weaver model was introduced in 1949. However, there is controversy regarding the establishment year of the Shannon and Weaver model. Claude Shannon published the article(A Mathematical Theory of Communication) in the Bell System Technical Journal in 1948 known as the Shannon theory. Warren Weaver republished the previous article in 1949, adding more information and discussing the model's implication for the effective communication process. They also renamed The Mathematical Theory of Communication while republishing it in a book. Therefore, it is known as the Shannon-Weaver model of communication.

Warren Weaver did not contribute to the article (A Mathematical Theory of Communication) published in 1948 by Claude Elwood Shannon. So, Weaver's name cannot be included in the model published in 1948. He co-authored the same article in 1949 and renamed it "The Mathematical Theory of Communication" while reprinting it in the book. The Mathematical Theory of Communication is called Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver's model of communication. So, it is rational to say that the Shannon and Weaver model was introduced in 1949, not 1948.

Shannon-Weaver’s Communication Theory Pdf Download-

A Mathematical Theory of Communication

Shannon, 1948 Reference
Shannon, C. E. (1948). A mathematical theory of communicationThe Bell System Technical Journal27(3), 379-423.
Shannon and Weaver, 1949 Reference
Shannon, C. E., & Weaver, W. (1949). The mathematical theory of communication. The University of Illinois Press
Citation For This Article - APA- 7th Edition:
Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2024). Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication Explanation & Examples.Newsmoor- Best Online Learning Platform.

Author: M M Kobiruzzaman

M M Kobiruzzaman, Researcher and Content Writer

3 thoughts on “Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication Examples & Explanation”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.