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Model of Communication

There are many factors which influence the communication process, all of which impact each other in a variety of ways. This model shows how the most important factors function in what would be a snapshot of a static instance of communication. Click on a part of the model for specific information.



Sender - The sender is the speaker. A sender starts with an impulse he or she wishes to express and then must encode that idea into symbols (words) and signs (facial expressions, tone of voice, etc).


Message - The message is the symbols and signs which are actually transmitted. All messages are carried by a channel (such as face-to-face, over the phone, email, etc).


Receiver - The receiver is the listener. The receiver must decode the symbols and signs of the message sent through the channel. Decoding involves working through one's own perceptual filters to arrive at thoughts which approximate the sender's original intent.


Feedback - Feedback is the signs the receivers projects while the sender is sending a message. Feedback allows the sender to know how his or her message is being received.


Environment - Environment is the physical, social and emotional context the communication takes place in. Environments can place expectation and contraints on communication.




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Copyright Alisa M. Shubb, 1999