Communication models, from Aristotle to White

There are many communication models

There are many communication models, and they all look alike. There is a sender and there are one or more receivers. The sender can choose a channel, and whatever channel she chooses, the message is distorted. The receivers are active or passive. It they react, maybe even if they don’t react, there is feedback. A channel is chosen for the feedback, and the feedback is distorted, if you like it or not. Miscommunication models would maybe be as better title.

A collection of Communication Models

For this collection we have selected more than 30 models. From the Aristotle to White.

Aristotelian Model

More simple than this is difficult. See also One-way communication.

Barnlund’s Model (Transactional Model)

The transactional model of Dean C. Barnlund, in two versions.

Basic Models

Communication 101.

Berlo’s SMCR Model

Berlo or Berlos? It is David Berlo, not David Berlos.

Body Language Model


Kenneth Burke created this modelo.

Clark & Martinez

Post-Modern communication.

Constructivist Model

Sometimes called the Escalator model.

De Fleur

Melvin de Fleur, Most of the communication professors have great names. I am waiting for the communication model of Bryson DeChambeau.

Dialogic Model

Question 4: explain the Dialogic Communication Model in less than 100 words.

Encode-Decode Model

Foulger’s Ecological Model

Joseph P. Foulger also designed a model.

The 4 Sides Model

Interesting square model.

Interactive Model

Lasswell’s Model (Action Model, Linear Model)

Harold Lasswell is famous in communication circles. According to Wikipedia he has been described as a “one-man university”.


Gerhard Maletzke “war ein deutscher Kommunikationswissenschaftler und Psychologe”.

Miscommunication Model

You said “Happy Holidays” but I heard “Merry Christmas”.

Multistep Flow Models

Different flow models.


A model from Arto Mustajoki.

One-way communication

Three different pictures illustrating one-way communication. Preferred by many.


Charles E. Osgood and Wilbur Schramm worked together on this model.

The Process Model

There is noise everywhere.

Requirements Communication Model

The Rileys

The Rileys, John and Matilda. A couple in communications.


Schramm’s first name is Wilbur. Some call him “the father of mass communication”.

Shannon and Weaver

Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver, the fathers of the famous Shannon-Weaver model.

The Spiral of Silence

From Telling to Co-creation

Telling = shouting.

The 3-layer model

And where is the heart in this 3-layer model? We need a four layer model.

The Transactional Model

Two Step Flow Model

The two-step flow model, by Lazarsfeld, Berelson and Gaudet. Katz is another name mention in relation to this model.

Types of communication

Updated Communication Model


Westley & MacLean

Bruce Westley and Malcolm MacLean tried to make it simple. I am puzzled by X3m.


Eugene White’s model is the last one in this exhibition. From Aristotle (no first name) to White.


This post is a joint production with The Museum of HR

The Museum of HR

29/09/2020, 43


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