Westley & MacLean Model of Communication

Westley & MacLean model of communication definition and explanation - toolshero

This articles provides a practical explanation of the Westley & MacLean Model of Communication. After reading, you will understand the basics of this powerful communication tool.
What is the Westley & MacLean Model of Communication?
The Westley & MacLean Model of Communication analyses the communication between source and receiver, indicated as A and B. In addition, mass media are indicated with C. The model can thus be viewed from two perspectives, interpersonal and mass communication. The difference between interpersonal communication and mass communication is the feedback. In mass communication, feedback is indirect and slow.

Contrary to the Artistotle communication model, or the communication cycle by Shannon & Weaver, the Westley MacLean Model of Communication inherently states that communication doesn't start as soon as someone speaks, but rather when a person responds, or is looking for a reaction from the environment.

Westley & MacLean Model of Communication was introduced by Bruce Westley and Malcolm S. MacLean junior. Westley was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and Malcolm was a director of the University of Jouralism School. The model was based on the Newcomb co-orientation model.
Interpreting the Westley & MacLean Model of Communication correctly
Westley & MacLean Model of Communication doesn't start as soon as a person starts talking or sends a message, but rather shows how a person reacts to his or her physical environment. The model shows a strong relationship between environmental factors and messages and the communication process.

Components of the Westley & MacLean Model of Communication
Westley & MacLean Model of Communication consists of multiple components, which may sometimes cause confusion. However, the model is fairly easy to understand, as is explained per element below. Moreover, the elements are explained in the order in which they appear in contemporary communication.
Source (A)
The source is the person who creates and sends a message.
Environment (X)
The environment is the physical and psychological state in which the communication process is studied. This doesn't necessarily have to be the same room. Modern communication is a global process, after all.
Sensory Experience (X1)
The sensory experience is the first thing the source sees that gives him/her the idea to write a message or comment.
Object of Orientation (X1, X2, …)
Objects of orientation can be ma...

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