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  1. 1. THE NATURE OF COMMUNICATION DEFINITIONS D ifferent individuals define communication in different ways depending upon their interests. Ruben (1984) says that communication is any “information related behavior.” Dale (1969) says it is the “sharing of ideas and feelings in a mood of mutuality.” Other definitions emphasize the significance of symbols, as in Berelson and Steiner (1964): “The transmission of information, ideas, emotions and skills…by the use of symbols,” and Theodorson and Theodorson (1969): “the transmission of information, ideas, attitudes, or emotion from one person or group to another…primarily through symbols.” WHY DO WE NEED TO COMMUNICATE? Communication is indispensable. Studies show that lack of which affects physical health and in extreme cases, can become even a matter of life and death. Medical studies prove that lack of social relationships jeopardizes coronary health. Socially isolated individuals are more susceptible to common cold and are more likely to die prematurely. Communication is the ONLY way we learn who we are, since our sense of identity comes from the way we interact with other people. Communication provides a vital link with others. Researchers have identified a wide range of social needs we satisfy by communicating such as pleasure, affection, companionship, escape, relaxation and control. Communication is the most widely used approach to satisfying what communication scholars call INSTRUMENTAL GOALS: getting others to behave in ways we want. MODELS OF COMMUNICATION Communication includes a great deal of human activity. The communication process has been the subject of study for many years, during which time the process has come to be appreciated with growing complexity. Models provide a simplified view of something to be studied. We choose those elements of interest and use the model to help us frame questions and predictions. One of the earliest recorded models was made the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. He represented communication as might an orator who speaks to large audiences. Political scientist Harold Laswell, writing in 1948, posed the question, “Who says what in which channel with what effect?”. His model includes considerations of a variety of factors being considered to determine the impact of a communication. Aristotle's model Another viewpoint on communication is offered by Shannon and Weaver in 1949. The model introduces three elements not found in Aristotle’s model: a transmitter, a receiver, and sources of noise. In telecommunications the transmitter and receiver would be the hardware used by the sender and receiver during the act of communication. Noise may come from static sources (like solar flares), unusual weather conditions, or electron equipment that interferes with the signal. Laswell 's model
  2. 2. The models previously introduced were all created by people interested in communication. Wilbur Schramm, on the other hand, began studying communication as an independent discipline. He developed several models for addressing different questions. One contribution Schramm made was to consider the fields of experience of the sender and receiver. The sender encodes the message, based upon the sender’s field of experience. Another one of Schramm’s models introduced the idea of feedback from the receiver to the sender. In this model, communication becomes a continuous process of messages and feedback. This model Shannon and Weaver 's model allows for interaction. Berlo took a different approach to constructing a model. Rather than attempting to identify elements of interest, and relationships between those elements, he created what he called “a model of the ingredients of communication.” This model identifies controlling factors for four identified elements of communication: Source, Message, Channel, and Receiver. Schramm 's model 1 Realizing the limitations of earlier models, Frank Dance came up with the Helical model to show that process of communication does not go out and come back to the same origin without changes in the behavior and attitude of the communicators. Schramm 's model 2 Berlo 's model Dance’s model GROUP ACTIVITY Analyze and evaluate the above communication models and create you group’s very own model of communication. Be ready to present to the class what you came up with. JR SOULbrudda 062010