Linear Communication Model Examples With Pros and Cons

Linear Communication Model Example Situation. Advantages and Disadvantages of Linear Model of Communication.

Linear Communication

Linear communication refers to one-way communication like reading books or newspapers, watching television, listening radio, and receiving no-reply emails. It is a particular type of communication that excludes receiver feedback. In this context, senders convey messages without expecting feedback from audiences. The receiver cannot respond to the sender immediately. For example, a company publishes a recruitment circular in a newspaper describing the application process. The authority wants to convey messages to applicants without expecting feedback.

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. Linear means one way.

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 occurs when both senders and receivers respond simultaneously. Feedback is an essential element of the communication process. Therefore, linear communication models have both advantages and disadvantages.

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 Communication Model Example Situation

Linear Model of Communication Example

The Four Examples of Linear Communication Models are:

  1. Aristotle Communication Model- 300BC
  2. Lasswell’s Communication Model- 1948
  3. Shannon-Weaver Communication Model-1949
  4. Berlo’s SMCR Communication Model in 1960
Aristotle Communication Model– 300BC

Aristotle’s communication model is a well-known example of a linear model of communication. 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.

Aristotle's Model of Communication

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.

Lasswell Linear Model of Communication Explanation Image or Photo

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.

Shannon and Weaver's Model of Communication Example

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.

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Linear Communication Examples

The five examples of linear communication are: (1) Reading books and Newspapers, (2) Watching Television, (3) Listening Radio, (4)  Receiving no-reply emails, and (5) Reading Brochures.

Linear Communication Example Situation-1

Reading newspapers is another example of a one-way communication process. The readers can receive the information but cannot respond.

Linear Communication Example Situation-2

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 Example Situation-3

Listening radio is an example of linear communication because the audience cannot respond. The audience can listen to news, music, and advertisement.

Linear Communication Example Situation-4

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.

Linear Communication Model Advantages and Disadvantages

The author explains the strengths and weaknesses of the linear model of communication. The linear model has pros and cons for the theoretical and practical implications.

Advantages of the Linear Model of Communication

Firstly, the linear communication model is easy to understand and describes the entire process thoroughly. The communication is straightforward and targeted to specific audiences.

Additionally, the linear model of communication was the initial theory that explains the communication process. The interactive and transactional communication models are designed based on linear models.

Moreover, a linear communication model is inevitable to explain the communication process through print media, TV, letter, Fax, and no-reply email.

Disadvantages of the Linear Model of Communication

Firstly, linear models do not represent Feedback; therefore, these models are incomplete. It can explain only the one-way communication process, but not two-way interactions. However, feedback is a significant component of interactive and transactional communication.

In addition, linear communication models cannot describe face-to-face communication as the most effective interaction. Nowadays, people prefer transaction communication systems like face-to-face, phone conversations, video conferences, and more. However, linear theories like Aristotle’s, Lasswell’s, Shannon-Weaver’s, and David Berlo’s SMCR communication model are unable to explain interactive communication.

Moreover, linear communication is inappropriate for problem-solving, bargaining, and dealing. One-way communication creates miscommunication between sender and receiver, sometimes disseminating misleading information.  Linear models are designed to explain the inappropriate communication process that might create misconceptions about the message delivered by senders.

Furthermore, the Linear model distinguishes the sender and receiver in which the sender always send, and the receiver only receives messages. Naturally, in the communication process, senders work as sender and receiver, and receivers also work as receivers and senders of the message.

Lasswell Model of Communication 1948 Examples & Components

Lasswell’s Communication Model Example. Advantages and Disadvantages of the Lasswell Model of Communication.

Lasswell Model of Communication

Lasswell’s linear communication model consists of five elements: who says what, in which channel, to whom with what effect. American psychologist and sociologist Harold Lasswell introduced a linear communication model in 1948. It is also known as the Action Model in communication. Harold Lasswell’s model describes the communication process with five questions; “Who? Says what? In which channel? To whom, and with what effect?” These are the five fundamental components of the Lasswell model. The researcher did not explain the feedback; therefore, it is a linear communication model. It was a significant model for explaining the verbal communication process.

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Example of Lasswell Model of Communication

A news reporter disseminates news regarding the negative impact of social media on BBC television to inform the general public.

Lasswell Model of Communication Components

The five components of Lasswell’s model are:
  1. Who
  2. Says What
  3. In Which Channel
  4. To Whom
  5. With What Effect

Harrold Lasswell’s model is also known as the 5Ws model for these five elements.

Who

Who refers to the sender of the message who initiates the communication. It also indicates the speaker and writer of the communication process. For example, the message’s sender is the news presenter, journalist, or political speaker.

Says What

Says What refers to the message of the communication. The question “Says What” is intended to identify the sender’s statement. For example, a news presenter delivers a FIFA world cup 2022 news update.

In Which Channel

In Which Channel describes the message transmitting pathway. It shows how the information reaches target audiences. The channel of communication differs based on the communication way. For example, Television, radio, and newspapers are communication channels in mass media. In contrast, hearing, seeing, smelling,  and touching are message-transmitting channels in face-to-face communication. In non-verbal communication, the communication channels are “Physical Appearance, Paralinguistics, Body Movement, Gestures, Posture, Facial Expression, Eye Contact, Proxemics, Haptics, Chronemics, Artifacts, and Environment.”

To Whom

To Whom describes the individuals to whom the message is delivered; it is also known as the receiver of the communication process. The receiver is the audience who receives the information. The sender disseminates the message through a particular channel to reach receivers (To Whom). For example, the news reporter conveys information to the audience who listens to them.

With What Effect

With What Effect illustrates the output of the message. It also validates whether the receivers comprehend the message or not. Sometimes, the sender cannot persuade the audience due to communication noise, faulty channels, and lack of speaker capability.

According to Lasswell’s communication model, there three functions of communication are Surveillance of the surroundings, Correlation of elements of society, and Cultural integration between generations. 

Lasswell Model of Communication  Examples

1. For example, if a news presenter broadcasts the FIFA World Cup information to inform Football lovers, we can relate the Lasswell model to this event. It analyzes who is disseminating information (News Presenter), What is saying (FIFA World Cup information), Which channel the news presenter is using to transfer information (Television), and “Effect” is the objective of the news.

2. Another Lasswell model example of a situation is the newspaper advertisement. We can see that the organization promotes its products via newspaper channels to inform customers.

3. Politicians address speeches on Radio to motivate voters to vote for their parties.

4. Lecturers send assignment instructions to students via email to get their information.

6. An organization sends appointment letters to candidates through postal and courier services.

7. Students submit assignments to the lecturer on an A4 paper sheet.

8. The HR manager posts current company rules and regulations on the notice board to inform all employees. 

9. A writer publishes his latest book series for readers.

10. A motivational speaker gives a speech on how to lead a happy life with limited wealth through a YouTube channel. 

Advantages and disadvantages of the Lasswell Model  of Communication
Advantages of the Lasswell Model

Firstly, the Lasswell model explains the information-transmitting process by throwing five questions to the readers. The answer to these questions indeed describes the whole communication process.

Secondly, the model is suitable for all verbal communication processes, including human communication.

In addition, this model has excellent heuristic significance, and the concept has been utilized in several types of research.

Disadvantages of the Lasswell Model

Firstly, the Lasswell model does not indicate the feedback clearly to this model; hence, it is suitable to explain only one-way conversation but not transactional interaction like face-to-face interaction.

In addition, the Lasswell model does not appropriately explain the nonverbal communication process since it mentions the “Who Say” component. In the nonverbal communication context, senders convey messages without spoken words.

Moreover, the Lasswell model cannot explain effective communication adequately, such as the interaction between two individuals. In face-to-face communication, both the sender and receiver provide feedback simultaneously. There is no feedback in the Lasswell model that can explain interpersonal and group interaction.

Furthermore, Lasswell’s model completely ignores the communication noise barriers to effective communication.

Finally, it is a propaganda-based linear model. This model focused on describing social and political propaganda.

Despite having advantages and disadvantages of the Lasswell model, it is still a famous model for students to study linear communication.

Lasswell’s Communication  Model Explanation

Lasswell Linear Model of Communication Explanation Image or Photo

Who and when establishes the Lasswell communication model?

Harold Dwight Lasswell’s short name (Harold Lasswell) established the Lasswell model in 1948.

What Type of Model is it?

Lasswell’s communication model explains a one-way communication process; therefore, it is linear, like Aristotle’s communication model, Shannon-Weaver’s communication model, and Berlo’s SMCR communication model. The linear communication model excludes feedback; in contrast, the transactional model includes it to explain two-way discussion.

Reference For This Article- APA 7th Edition
Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2023). Lasswell Model of Communication 1948 Examples & Components. Newsmoor. https://newsmoor.com/lasswell-model-of-communication-1948-examples-components/

In-text citation
According to Kobiruzzaman (2023)
In research from Kobiruzzaman (2023)