Schramm’s “Tuba” Model

Through his investigations, Wilbur Lang Schramm fulfilled an important dissemination labor of the research developed by Mass Communication Research. He was a thinker who wrote about communication, the media and journalism.


To Schramm are credited a number of models in which interpersonal communication and interaction is worked, with what the author calls "experience field" whereby the higher this shared experience, the simpler the communication.


The most important of these models created by Schramm is the one known as “Schramm’s Tuba” (See Graphic) centered in the process of collective communication.


This model addresses the process in which from the multiplicity of messages, the receiver selects the ones which require less effort to understand and those that best represent the set of rules of the social group from which the receiver is part.


In Schramm’s study about the communication process there is an implicit worry over the study of the effects and it starts from the assumption that when a communication is issued, it occurs, in unison, an attempt to predict its effects: the sender makes a projection of the possible effects of his messages. 


Anyway, Schramm recognizes that communication effects are the result of several forces from which the communicator can only control one: shaping the message and deciding when and where to transmit it. The remaining uncontrolled elements are: the situation in which the communication is received and in which the answer will take place; the receiver's personality and; the receiver's norms and group relations.


Finally, while Schramm’s model is a continuation of Lasswell’s and Shannon’s models, it makes new contributions. For example, the feedback and the notion of "field of experience" as the collective memory which makes effective communication possible (the absence of this memory was one of the main criticisms to Shannon's model).


Still, while Schramm recognizes that the sender has not only the capacity of transmitting messages, he doesn't go any further, meaning the information's production process remains a black box.



Authors / References: Wilbur Lang Schramm.

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