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The three communication theories I have applied to provide the most insight into understanding the dynamics of the observed conversation between two people are; the transmission model (Shannon & Weaver 1949), Fuller’s ecological model (Fouler 2004), and an expanded model of communication (Munson 2012). In this essay I have used a conversation I had listened to which was between my friend (from here on will be named George) and his friend (from here on will be named Mark). Problems that arose during the conversation will be explained as well as how George and Mark overcame them.
From there the essay will compare and contrast the three communication theories and decide which of these best simplify the conversation. Complexities of the conversation I was asked by George to take him down to the pub to meet up with Mark for a couple of games of pool, whilst chatting over a cold beer. George is nearly completely illiterate due to him leaving school at the age of 12, moving to the Northern territory and working on a cattle farm up until the age of 19, where he then moved back to Lissome.
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Mark is completely deaf and has next to no ability to lip read (this I had not known until I met him). Both George and Mark do not know sign language of any kind. George and has learnt to use abbreviations in text messages, which is about the extent of his written language capabilities. Problems that arose George had been avoiding this meeting because he finds the conversations very difficult, and this usually leads to heated discussions, especially when the conversations centered on Mark’s granddaughter (which George has always had affectionate feelings for but never acted upon).
Both George and Mark have their own perceptions on what is going on in her life, which has, and still causes either Mark or George to have expectations from the other, and creates selective perceptions (Withes 2009). This introduces psychological noise and detracts from the meanings of some of the messages in the conversation. A one way lack of tone and inflection in the voice to communicate feelings and emotions more clearly can provide misunderstanding in the meaning of some messages. Language barrier from non-literate to literate people poses the greatest barrier to messages both to and from each other.
Feedback is restricted to kinesics emblems, regulators, and illustrators (De Vito 2001). George aged 2 and Mark aged 64 both have different educational backgrounds in which written communication differs. Text messaging or testing (Shaw et al. 2007) can be a major source of misinterpretation, though Mark has been using his mobile phone for some time now. This leads to the conclusion that this increases the communication abilities of how Mark can interact with George, though there is still the written language barrier between them (Kumara et al. 2011).
How George and Mark overcome these problems The over emphasis of kinesics emblems, regulators, and illustrators (De Vito 2001) had o be used as feedback due to the lack of language being used by George. Facial expressions become very important for Mark and George to try to convey their own, and comprehend each other’s emotions, from understanding to frustration. Increased eye contact which would make most people more nervous and defensive (De Vito 2001) become a highly prized resource for feedback as well it had helped regulate the control of the conversation.
Shannon and Weaver’s transmission model (Shannon & Weaver 1949) seems to be the simplest model, and therefore maybe the est. for most situations; however, it lacks the detail in which the complexities of this particular conversation pose, and that need to be addressed, in particular the noise sources. Figure 1 : Transactional model (Source: Shannon & Weaver 1949) Fuller’s ecological model is an elaboration of (Alleles 1948) model of “Who, says what, in which channel, to whom, with what effect” (Fouler 2004) though it takes into account of the use of different languages using modern mediums.
This model is an excellent model but focuses on more of the use of the language and the media it is conveyed in and to so much on person to person communications. Figure 2: An Ecological Model of the Communication (Source: Fouler 2004) Union’s expanded model of communication is more complex than Fuller’s as well as Shannon and Weaver’s models, though it is more appropriate to this conversation had between George and Mark due to the fact it shows that in order for the communication to happen the sender must pre-edit and then encode the message pass the message onto the receiver where he decodes and edits the message.
Munson also takes into account the use of mechanical, behavioral and semantic actors of encoding, and understands that if the message is to be understood the receiver must be able to decode the message. This is particularly relevant, and highly important to this conversation between George and Mark due to the factors mentioned before. Context Figure 3: An expanded model of communication (Source: Munson 2012) Conclusion I have found Shannon and Weavers transactional model too simple and cannot evaluate the complexities of this situation, and that Fuller’s model too broad and not able to focus on the problems that need to be addressed.
Therefore, I believe hat Union’s expanded model of communication is the most adequate to use out of the three models that were written about because Union’s model has shown how a message from George is first pre-edited (thoughts), then encoded (written on paper), passed on through noise (physical, psychological as well as expectations and selective perception), decoded by the receiver (reading Georges writing) and then finally edited to Mark’s own meaning and interpretation.
This explains how there was some heated discussions in the past, and will continue to be so until they are able to actively listen’ to each other before they place their own selective perceptions and expectations on their conversation.