Rubber Band Model of Communication
The first scholar who attempted a communication model is Aristotle. Aristotelian view of communication influenced the perspectives of communication thinkers until the mid twentieth century. In the late 1940s, and through the 1950s and 1960s, a number of new communication models were advanced, most of them preserving the basic themes of the Aristotelian perspective. Later in 1949, Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver published a model that they called the "Mathematical Model of Communication." and later in 1954 he proposed an interactive model. In 1960 Berlo proposed the SMCR model. These models were considered the major linear models of communication.
and Becker’s Mosaic Model (1968). The others that invited attention of communication experts included the multidimensional models. The major contributions were Functional Model by Ruesch and Bateson (1951) and Transactional Model by Barnlund (1970). All these models contributed only to further the discussions and research of communication and proved different points of the communications process. (Jones &. Jones, 1997)
The Rubber Band Model of communication, as the term denotes uses the analogy of a rubber band. The elastic property of the rubber band is used to explain the communication process. …
The Rubber Band Model can be explained with the following diagrams.
The figures Fig.1 and Fig.2 show the communication process as proposed by the Rubber Band model. Fig.1 shows a stretched rubber band. The black portion is the piece of rubber band and the dotted lines show it in the stretched position. If we consider the piece of rubber band as the message transmitted by the sender the stretched portion explains the transmission of the message. The elastic property of the rubber band can be attributed to the nature of the message, transmission process and the channel. If stretched further, the message will reach a different receiver. It requires a more elastic material (a strong rubber band or a lengthy one) to stretch to a considerable length. The process of communication is similar. If the message has to be reached to a wider audience it has to be powerful, or in other words a mediated communication has to take place which occurs only in mass communication.
Similarly the stretched rubber band when released (See Fig.2) gets back to the previous destination, which also explains the feedback.
Critique of the Rubber Band model of communication
The Rubber Band model is a dynamic model when compared to the linear models of communication as it proves that message can be send to an intended direction. This helps to explain interpersonal communication as well as group communication. The elastic property of the rubber band and its analogy used in the model also explains the mass communication process. The model has significance as it also give explanation for the feedback in communication.
The limitation of the model is that it makes the feedback compulsory.
1. Marsha Jones and Emma