What Is Communication Theory?

Topics: Communication, Communication theory, Harold Lasswell Pages: 5 (1256 words) Published: June 4, 2009
Bibliographic Information

by Shirley Tyler, Christopher Kossen and Charmaine Ryan (1999)

Book Title
Communication: a foundation course
Published by Prentice Hall Australia, 1998

Article Title
Chapter 2
What is Communication theory?
Erskineville, NSW: Pearson Education Australia
Page 8-31

What is Communication theory?
Summary Of Reading

The purpose of this reading is to give readers an appreciation of the complexity that is involved in a communication process. Their principal components and competencies involved, the authors also discuss and shed light on the array of theories and concepts widely available, their pros and cons when being used in the communication process. Expounding on the processes of communication theory models, their strengths and weaknesses, and the areas or circumstance that will benefit from their application. Humans are creatures of perception; likewise in a communication process perception is imbedded into its very core. Perception is what helps one to determine what is being communicated and make sense out of what is being seen or heard. Some important aspects of decoding perception is through task and audience analysis, which helps to make the work of communication much more manageable, efficient and effective. The authors aim at giving the readers an understanding of the communication process by relating and drawing parallels to real life situations. Thus giving the readers an insight of what is involved and how best to communicate a given task or massage to a given audience.

Article Focus
To understand Communication Theory we need to first look into the terms "communication" and "theory". Communication is the act of exchanging thoughts, messages, or information by usage of speech, signals, writing, or behavior. It can be in spoken or unspoken words, in the way a body moves, in a scent, in an expression or just in a touch. Communication can be an abstract form of art or to some a science that can be explain. Very much like the quote that is being used in this article by the authors from Barker. ?defining communication is similar to trying to define love. Intuitively, you feel you understand it, but it's difficult to put into words. [and that]?communication theorists have never completely agreed on a single definition of communication. (Baker 1984, p5) Abstract from Communication: A Foundation Course, Tyler, Kossen and Ryan p9 With all said the purpose of communication is the ability to comprehend and express an idea, a message or a thought. It is an exchange of knowledge and information, in order for communication to be effective; the authors introduce and explore some of the communications theories in this chapter. Before we look into the different theories, let us look into and understand the idea of a theory. Theory is a clarification or explanation; theories can be a principle or idea that is proven or not proven. It can be base on a belief or an assumption to explain certain things around us. The four theories of communication that being mention in this chapter includes: 1.The Linear Process Model

2.The Interactive Process Model
3.The Transactional Process Model
4.The Structuralist Perspective
The Linear Process Model is a well-known model of communication developed by Shannon and Weaver in 1949, as the typical example of a transmission model of communication; this model reduces communication to a process of 'transmitting information'. However some commentators have claimed that the Shannon and Weaver's model has a much wider application to human communication than a purely technical one. Theory 1: The Linear Process Model

The components of the Linear Models are:
Senderthe source
Receiverthe destination
Messagethe information
Code the form the message takes
Channelthe means or medium used
Noise physical interference, for example sound light etc.
Abstract from Communication: A Foundation Course, Tyler, Kossen...

References: * Carey, James (1989): Communication as Culture. New York: Routledge (Chapter 1, 'A Cultural Approach to Communication ')
* Ellis, Russell & Ann McClintock (1990): If You Take My Meaning: Theory into Practice in Human Communication. London: Arnold (Chapter 5, (Communication Models ')
* Fiske, John (1982): Introduction to Communication Studies. London: Routledge (Chapter 1, 'Communication Theory ' is a good introduction to this topic)
* Kress, Gunther (1988): 'Communication and Culture '. In Gunther Kress (Ed.): Communication and Culture. Kensington, NSW: New South Wales University Press
* McQuail, Denis & Sven Windahl (1993): Communication Models for the Study of Mass Communication. London: Longman
* Shannon, Claude E. & Warren Weaver (1949): A Mathematical Model of Communication. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press
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