Post #2: Communication model of Shannon and Weaver

The communication model of Shannon and Weaver does not give a holistic view on communication.  Its initial intent of this model was to improve technical communication through the usage of various technological channels such as radio. But as time went by, it became one of the models for communication. Bottom is a diagram of this model:


This diagram generally focuses on the process of a Sender sending his Message to his recipient through a Channel (or medium), with a possibility of interference (Noise). Technological Channels such as radio-communication or modern day features such as SMS could be used to send messages across. Misinterpretation could occur regardless due to the interference of noise. The usage of SMS was even susceptible to Noise in this communication model as messages would not have gotten across if there was any signal disruption by the service provider This kind of circumstance could have given the Receiver a skewed perception of the Sender. One example is where guy A sms guy B to meetup, but due to poor reception, guy A’s message does not get across, making guy B upset with guy A, and make it seem as though guy A is irresponsible.


Even if the message has been sent to the Recipient with the correct words used from the Sender, this form of communication omits the true emotions of the Message that was sent. Taking another example of a joke sent from your friend via a phone-message when you are not in a good mood, you might just send an abbreviated reply of ‘Laughing Out Loud’ in order to entertain your friend and keep him quiet. Your intention is just to reply only and not carry on the conversation for that moment. Whereas, on the end of your friend, he may think that you are entertained and he possibly might send more messages to you. In return, that irks you more.


Thus, due to the fact that this model requires a medium to converse, communication through technology has its flaws as the intention/emotions of the message is masked and may not be possibly truthful to the recipient.

Communication would be more holistic if it is interpersonal as there will be other crucial factors that strengthen the intensity of the communication such as seeing the hand gestures, body posture and even with the tone of how the Sender says his words. Albert Merhabian’s model of communication helps give this topic a full view.


Albert’s model came out in the 1970s and it focuses on 3 simple aspects: “Spoken Words”, “Tone” and “Body Language”. His model has allocated percentage-figures into each aspect in the form of 7% – 38% – 55%, that in total makes up 100% the essence of communication. As mentioned, interpersonal communication allows both parties to pick up verbal ques. The sender will be able to see whether the current topic of discussion is interesting by looking at the receiver to see if he is slouching or having his mind distracted by not having eye contact. In comparison, Albert’s model of communication is more holistic than Shannon and Weaver’s model with the emphasis on emotional ques on the 93% of “Tone” and “Body Language” rather than just “Word’ alone. Also, Shannon and Weaver’s model may imply that without a medium, communication cannot be carried out, that makes this model bias.


My communication model is simple. If my recipient does not understand what I am trying to saying, I will repeat it for him. I will leave it be if he does not want to reconfirm what I have said with me though. But if it is a task that I need help from, I will ensure that my message gets across clearly.

My model is like this because I do not want to add all the conditions as it will be jargon to some other people and no point making the term “communication” something that difficult to comprehend.  The art of communication should be as simple as possible and not fluffed up with other terms such as ‘Noise” from Shannon and Weaver’s model and Non-verbal voice ques from Mehrabian’s model. There will definitely be some ‘funny-people’ who will try to follow these kinds of models in order to prove their level of intellect, that in reality makes them look worse. Making one appreciate a topic should not be overfilled with conditions and terms.

At the end of the day, regardless of which communication model, it is how the recipient is going to take it, even if you clarify your message clearly. I’ll leave a link of an old cartoon episode of Spongebob Squarepants (as the video player cannot be loaded in here). In this episode, Patrick and Spongebob became entrepreneurs by selling chocolates, but one segment in relation to the topic of communication, Patrick takes Spongebob’s words too literal when asked to ‘be nice’ to the customer (4:38 – 5:00). Have some laughter too!

Spongebob Squarepants Season 3 Episode 12:
Watch Here


Blog Post #2 Featured Image:

Shannon & Weaver Communication Model:

Kim Jong Un meme:

Steve Carell The Office gif:

Dr. Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 model:

Spongebob Squarepants Season 3 Episode 12- Chocolate Nuts Episode:

3 thoughts on “Post #2: Communication model of Shannon and Weaver

  1. Hi Gary, just happen to stumble upon your blog and indeed this is by far one of the most interesting post that I have read. Personally, I do have the same view point as you and that this communication model is bias. However, there is an issue which I believe is crucial in this model which is the feedback portion. If the message is not properly transmitted to the receiver due to noise, the feedback allows the receiver to clarify things again with the sender.

    p.s. The SpongeBob video was really entertaining, depicting the misinterpretation of being nice to the customer.


  2. Yo Gary,

    Your post is informative and gain quite an understanding about your stand through your post. In some ways I do not agree with you as i do feel that with the feedback loop, this is a complete model. As one could get their ideas across back to the sender. with the feedback loop. However as said with the noise and one’s ability, the message sent might be interpreted in different ways. Liked how your choice of photos clearly depict and reiterate your message. Very informative and light! 🙂


  3. Hey Gary,

    Interesting that you used another model to compare and contrast with Shannon and Weaver’s model. A great model there as it shows statistics of the elements that comprises within a conversation and I do agree that tone and body language takes up a majority of it. Although biased, Albert’s Model do reflect well on how the conversation would be transmitted out and during SMS-ing, it is difficult to deliver the tone out as well as body language and there is a chance that the receiving party would misinterpret the actually delivery of the message.
    Great post and an interesting video 🙂

    All the best,

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