• Mortensen: “In the broadest sense, a model is a systematic representation of an object or event in idealized and abstract form. Models are somewhat arbitrary by their nature. The act of abstracting eliminates certain details to focus on essential factors. . . .• The key to the usefulness of a model is the degree to which it conforms--in point-by- point correspondence--to the underlying determinants of communicative behavior.”
• “Communication models are merely pictures; they’re even distorting pictures, because they stop or freeze an essentially dynamic interactive or transactive process into a static picture.”
• Models are metaphors. They allow us to see one thing in terms of another.
• Aristotle’s speaker-centered model received perhaps its fullest development in the hands of Roman educator Quintilian (ca. 35-95 A.D.), whose Institutio Oratoria was filled with advice on the full training of a “good” speaker-statesman.
• Aristotle’s model of proof. Kinnevay also sees a model of communication in Aristotle’s description of proof:• a. Logos, inheres in the content or the message itself• b. Pathos, inheres in the audience• c. Ethos, inheres in the speaker
•. Claude Shannon, an engineer for the Bell Telephone Company, designed the most influential of all early communication models.• His goal was to formulate a theory to guide the efforts of engineers in finding the most efficient way of transmitting electrical signals from one location to another (Shannon and Weaver, 1949).
• Later Shannon introduced a mechanism in the receiver which corrected for differences between the transmitted and received signal; this monitoring or correcting mechanism was the forerunner of the now widely used concept of feedback (information which a communicator gains from others in response to his own verbal behavior).
• “The simplest and most influential message-centered model of our time came from David Berlo (Simplified from David K. Berlo, The Process of Communication (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1960))”• Essentially an adaptation of the Shannon- Weaver model.
• Wilbur Schramm (1954) was one of the first to alter the mathematical model of Shannon and Weaver.• He conceived of decoding and encoding as activities maintained simultaneously by sender and receiver; he also made provisions for a two-way interchange of messages.• Notice also the inclusion of an “interpreter” as an abstract representation of the problem of meaning.
• Depicts communication as a dynamic process. Mortensen: “The helix represents the way communication evolves in an individual from his birth to the existing moment.”
• Dance: “At any and all times, the helix gives geometrical testimony to the concept that communication while moving forward is at the same moment coming back upon itself and being affected by its past behavior, for the coming curve of the helix is fundamentally affected by the curve from which it emerges. Yet, even though slowly, the helix can gradually free itself from its lower-level distortions.• The communication process, like the helix, is constantly moving forward and yet is always to some degree dependent upon the past, which informs the present and the future. The helical communication model offers a flexible communication process”
• Westley and MacLean realized that communication does not begin when one person starts to talk, but rather when a person responds selectively to his immediate physical surroundings.• Each interactant responds to his sensory experience (X1 . . . ) by abstracting out certain objects of orientation (X1 . . . 3m). Some items are selected for further interpretation or coding (X’) and then are transmitted to another person, who may or may not be responding to the same objects of orientation (X,b),
• “Becker likens complex communicative events to the activity of a receiver who moves through a constantly changing cube or mosaic of information .• The layers of the cube correspond to layers of information. Each section of the cube represents a potential source of information; note that some are blocked out in recognition that at any given point some bits of information are not available for use.• Other layers correspond topotentially relevant setsof information.”
• “Ruesch and Bateson conceived of communication as functioning simultaneously at four levels of analysis. One is the basic intrapersonal process (level 1). The next (level 2) is interpersonal and focuses on the overlapping fields of experience of two interactants.• Group interaction (level 3) comprises many people. And finally a cultural level (level 4) links large groups of people.
• Moreover, each level of activity consists of four communicative functions: evaluating, sending, receiving, and channeling.• Notice how the model focuses less on the structural attributes of communication- source, message, receiver, etc.—and more upon the actual determinants of the process.”