Linear Communication Model
The linear communication model refers to the framework that explains the one-way communication process. Many communication systems are one-way directed, including disseminating news through radio. For example, print media spreads emergency news to readers; but readers cannot respond instantly or provide feedback to the authority. Conveying information through the radio, TV, newspaper, and book is an appropriate example of one-way communication. Therefore, many scientists designed linear communication models to explain these one-way communication processes.
A linear model excludes Feedback, which is a mandatory element for transactional communication. In a communication process, senders transmit info to receivers. Similarly, receivers respond to senders, which is called Feedback. Effective communication is occured when both senders and receivers respond simultaneously. Feedback is an essential element of the communication process.
Different Between Linear and Transaction Models
The primary difference between the transactional and linear models is- the transactional model includes Feedback, but the linear model excludes it.
Additionally, the transactional theory can explain two-way communication, including face-to-face interaction. In contrast, the linear model can describe only one-way communication, like reading newspapers.
Finally, transactional models are developed from the linear model. The linear models are older than the transactional model.
Linear Model of Communication Example
The Four Examples of linear communication models are:
- Aristotle Communication Model- 300BC
- Lasswell’s Communication Model- 1948
- Shannon-Weaver Communication Model-1949
- Berlo’s SMCR Communication Model in 1960
Aristotle Communication Model– 300BC
Greek scientist Aristotle introduced a linear communication model in 300 BC. He designed the model to explain how to provide political and social speech for audiences. The model is focused on the message and audience or receiver mainly. The five critical components of Aristotle’s communication model are speaker, speech, occasion, audience, and effect. This theory does not mention Feedback; hence, it is a linear communication theory.
Lasswell’s Communication Model
In 1948, Harold Lasswell described a linear communication model with five elements: who says what, in which channel, to whom with what effect. It is another prominent model to illustrate one-way communication.
Shannon-Weaver Communication Model
The Shannon-Weaver model is the most notable theory in the communication arena for representing communication noise. It is known as the mother of all communication models. In 1949, Shannon and Weaver published this model to explain how signals are transmitted through channels. The six components of the Shannon-Weaver model are Information Source, Transmitter, Channel, Receiver, Destination, and Noise Source.
Berlo’s SMCR Communication Model
In 1960, David Berlo developed another linear communication model with four key elements Source, Message, Channel, and Receiver. Therefore, it is known as the SMCR communication model. Berlo describes five more elements under every critical component. For example, Source includes Communication Skills, Attitude, Knowledge, Social Systems, and Culture. Additionally, the message comprises Content, Elements, Treatment, Structure, and Code. Moreover, the channel contains hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting. The receiver includes the same elements as the message sender.
Linear Model of Communication Example Situation-1
For example, Joe Biden, the 46th U.S. president, delivers a speech on CNN after returning from Ukraine. People are watching television to hear the president’s statement. He announces $500 million for military support in Ukraine. The speaker is the message’s sender, and the audiences are the receiver. The message has been transmitted through the CNN television channel. However, audiences can not respond to the speech instantly. The feedback is not presented in this type of communication; hence, it is a one-way communication process.
Linear Communication Model Example Situation-2
A no-reply email is also an example of a linear communication process. The receiver receives the messages in email but cannot reply to them. A no-reply is sent from the company domain email that doesn’t receive feedback.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Linear Model of Communication
Advantages of the Linear Model of Communication
The linear communication model is easy to understand and describes the entire process thoroughly. The communication is straightforward and targeted to specific audiences.
Disadvantages of the Linear Model of Communication
A linear model does not represent Feedback; therefore, models are incomplete. It can explain only the one-way communication process, but not two-way interactions. Linear models cannot describe face-to-face communication as the most effective interaction.