Macro model of the Communications Process

Communications macro-model is considered to be with nine elements. Two represents the major parties in a communication – sender and receiver. Two represent the major communication tools – message and media. Four represent major communication functions – encoding, decoding, response, and feedback. The last element in the system is noise that is random and competing messages that may interfere with the intended communication.

The model emphasizes the key factors in effective communication. Senders must know what audiences they want to reach and what responses they want to get. They must encode their messages so that the target audience can decode them. They must transmit the messages through media that reach the target audience and develop feedback channels to monitor the responses. The more the sender’s field of experience overlaps with that of the receiver, the more effective the message is likely to be.

It is to be noted that selective attention, distortion, and retention processes – may be operating during communication, as follows:

1. Selective attention – People are bombarded by about 1,500 commercial messages a day, which explains why advertisers sometimes go to great lengths to grab audience attention through fear, music, or sex appeals, or bold headlines promising something, such as “How to Make a Million?” Ad clutter is also a major obstacle to gaining attention – non-editorial or programming content ranges from 25 to 33% for TV and radio to over 50% for magazines and newspapers.

2. Selective distortion – Receivers will hear what fits into their belief systems. As a result, receivers often add things to the message that are not there (amplification) and do not notice other things that are there (leveling). The task is to strive for simplicity, clarify, interest, and repetition to get the main points across.

3. Selective retention – People will retain in long-term memory only a small fraction of the messages that reach them. If the receiver’s initial attitude toward the object is positive and he or she rehearses support arguments, the message is likely to be accepted and have high recall. If the initial attitude is negative and the person rehearses counter arguments, the messages are likely to be rejected but to stay in long-term memory. Because persuasion requires the receiver’s rehearsal of his or her own thoughts, much of what is called persuasion is actually self-persuasion.

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