Communication models, mediums, and challenges

The Shannon-Weaver model identified three basic challenges to effective communication. A technical problem is related to the limits of the technology to transmit information accurately. A semantic problem is a challenge in finding precise meaning—does the recipient understand what the sender was trying to say? The effectiveness problem is related to how the meaning of the message affects the recipient’s behavior—does it cause the recipient to act in the way the sender intended?

The transactional model identified three types of noise that interferes with receiving and processing messages, including external noise, physiological/biological interference, and psychological noise.

Share an experience you have had in which you did not communicate effectively with a colleague or family member. Then answer the following questions about the experience based on the various models of communication you studied this week.

  • Based on the Shannon-Weaver model, what problems occurred that detracted from effective communication?
  • Based on the transactional model, what types of noise were present that interfered with communication?
  • How could you and your conversational partner have communicated more effectively in that situation?
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