Lasswell Model of Communication 1948 Examples & Components

Lasswell Model of Communication

Lasswell’s model is a linear communication model consisting 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 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.

Lasswell Model of Communication

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 5 components of Lasswell’s model are:
  1. Who
  2. Says What
  3. In Which Channel
  4. To Whom
  5. With What Effect
1. 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 communication. 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’s 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 communication 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 disseminate information (Television), and “Effect” is the objective of the news.

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

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

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

6. An organization send 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 recent 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 through a YouTube channel on how to lead a happy life with limited wealth. 

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 communication 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.

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 communication model in 1948.

What type of model is it?

Lasswell’s communication model explains a one-way communication process; therefore, it is a linear communication model like Aristotle’s, Shannon-Weaver’s, and Berlo’s Model of Communication.

Aristotle’s Model of Communication Example & Explanation

Aristotle’s Model of Communication

Aristotle’s communication model refers to the linear communication theory that focuses on five elements: speaker, speech, occasion, audience, and effect. Greek scientist Aristotle introduced this one-way communication model in 300 B.C. that mainly focuses on the speech or the message. So it is known as Aristotle’s communication model or Aristotelian model. The Aristotelian model is one of the most recognized communication models globally, emphasizing the speaker’s role in making a powerful speech. The Aristote model focuses on public speaking, including how the speaker delivers a message to the audience. As this model was proposed before 300 B.C., it is regarded as the first communication model. Aristotle was a well-known Greek scientist and philosopher born in 384 BC in Stagira on the northern frontier of Classical Greece.

Aristotle’s Linear Model of Communication

Aristotle’s communication model explains a one-way communication process, so it is a linear communication model. The linear communication model excludes feedback, whereas the transactional (two-way) model includes feedback. There is no feedback in Aristotle’s communication model; hence, it is known as Aristotle’s linear model of communication. 

Five Elements of Aristotle’s Communication Model

Aristotle’s communication model is designed to explain delivering a persuasive speech. The five components of Aristotle’s communication model are speaker, speech, occasion, audience, and effect.

Aristotle's Model of Communication
Aristotle’s Model



Speaker refers to the person who delivers the speech. It is the primary element of the communication process that initiates the conversation. Communication cannot be designed without a speaker. So, it is crucial in all verbal and nonverbal communication types.


Speech is the message of communication that a speaker wants to deliver to audiences. The speaker delivers the speech to accomplish the goal. For example, a political leader produces persuasive speeches to motivate supporters.


Occasion means the context in communication that denotes the environment and represents why conversation occurs. The speech pattern can be distinguished based on the occasion. For example, a political leader delivers speeches based on the situation, including political campaigns and social and personal events.


The audience is the receiver of the speech. The speaker addresses a speech to the audience. So, audiences are known as listeners. For example, supporters are the audience in the political campaign. The audience plays a passive role, impacted by the speech. There are two types of audiences such as active and passive audiences. This limits communication to one direction, from speaker to receiver.


The effect is positive and negative, the consequences of the speech. It measures whether the audience is persuaded or not. For example, a marketing manager provides a promotional speech to sell a product. Here, the effect refers to buying attitude of the customers.

Example of Aristotle’s Model of Communication
Speech through Radio Station

For example, the NBC radio station(Context) broadcasted American 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s (Speaker) speech through fireside chats. The president explained (Speech) the new policies directly to the citizens(Audience). Franklin D. Roosevelt was an effective communicator, and his speech created a strong relationship(Effect) between the government and the general people. This situation is the best example of Aristotle’s model of communication.

Advertisement on Television

A salesman (Speaker) advertises on Television (Context) to persuade customers (Audience) to sell a laptop at the best price. He delivers a promotional message (Speech) to convince the customers. Finally, the salesman manages to sell some laptops (Effect) through T.V. advertisement. In this context, the audience listens to the speakers without providing feedback. 

Political Speech Physically

Barack Obama (Speaker) delivers a speech to supporters (Audiences) to persuade them to vote for Democratic Party in the general election (C0ntext) of the United States of America. For example, many voters decide to vote (Effect) for Democratic Party after listening to the motivational speech.

Aristotle’s Model of Communication Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of the Aristotle Communication Model

Aristotle has placed more emphasis on the speaker’s role. Therefore, it benefits anyone looking to develop their public speaking abilities. The Aristotelian model states that the speaker needs to be aware of his intended audience. For instance, the speakers can establish their speech on their socioeconomic status, educational background, etc. 

In a corporate context, managers take three steps: Ethos, Pathos, and logos, to enhance organizational productivity. 

Aristotle’s model explains how to obtain more supporters with a persuasive speech on a sports team. 

Moreover, for researchers and students of communication, Aristotle’s model serves as a motivating outcome of the systematic study of various aspects of communication. It is also an instructive representation of the communication process that assists in system planning. It represents fresh perspectives and ideas on various topics, including verbal, written, and nonverbal communication.

Disadvantages of the Aristotle Communication Model

The three significant criticisms of Aristotle’s communication model are No Feedback, No Noise and Public Speaking Centered.

Criticism of Aristotle model of communication

The most crucial weakness of Aristotle’s communication model is that it is a linear communication process. It is considered to be a linear model of one-way communication. It did not include and explain feedback essential for the interactive communication process. Due to the lack of audience feedback and openness in this communication model, the conversation is ineffective.

Additionally, its credibility and usefulness are limited because it is only helpful for public speaking. 

Finally, Aristotle’s model shows no concept regarding noise barriers in communication. Noise is an unwanted but paramount element of the communication process.  

Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle

Aristotle described the rhetorical triangle as comprised of three elements: ethos, pathos and logos. Any written and spoken speech is generated to persuade audiences. So, the writers and speakers should include the three rhetorical components ethos (speaker’s credibility and trustworthiness), pathos (emotional appeal) and logos (logical message or information). 


The five elements of Aristotle’s model are speaker, speech, occasion, audience, and effect. Speakers should follow Aristotle’s model to influence the audience positively when speaking in public. It is a crucial model to motivate audiences.