The Osgood- Schramm Model


In 1954 Charles E. Osgood presented the theory of meaning. Wilbur Schramm changed this theory of meaning into a model and after this model became the Circular Model of communication.

osgood and schramm model 3

Charles E. Osgood was an American Psychologist who developed the technique of measuring the ‘connotative meaning’ of the concept, known as semantic Differential. Osgood was born in Somerville, Massachusetts and did his PhD from Yale University.

Wilbur Schramm was a scholar and also known as the authoritarian of Mass Communication. He was a great influencer of mass communication and was the one who established the departments of mass communication studies across the universities of the United States.He was the first person who called himself a communication Scholar. Schramm did a pilot project called Mass Communication Program for his PhD in Lowa University.  

Schramm was born in Germany. In 1935 he found literally magazine called American Prefaces: A Journal of creative and imagery writing. Schramm was especially influential for his 1964 book Mass Media and National Development which was published in conjunction with UNESCO, which effectively began research into the link between the spread of communication technology and socio-economic development.

In Mass Media and National Development (1964), Schramm said that mass media in developing countries needed to play three roles—those of watchdog, policymaker, and teacher for change and modernization.

The Osgood –Schramm Model

The Osgood and Schramme model is about two way of communication between Sender and Receiver. Osgood popularized the statement that communication is circular rather linear, which requires sender and receiver for sharing their information.

osgood and schramm model 2

Wilbur Schramm talked about this model in his book called The Process and Effect of Communication. he adapted this model to make theory. He added the notion of field of experience in his theory. Field of experience assimilates a mutual understanding of both the parties.


Wilbur Schramm adapted Shannon and Weaver’s model of Human communication called a mathematical model but Schramm stressed encoding and decoding aspects as crucial. He defines communication as the sharing of information, ideas, and attitudes.

In Osgood and Schramm model encoding and decoding is the most important component. In electronic communication,he explains substitute for encoder (microphone) and decoder (earphone). In his model, he considers encoder and source is one person and decoder and destination is another. Here signal is language and you are talking about human communication.

Components of Model

osgood and schramm model

Sender (encoder)- this is the person who sends (encodes) his/her message.

Receiver (decoder)- This is the person who receives (decodes) the message from the sender.

Interpreter- person trying to understand, perceive or analysis the message.

Message – this is the message being shared between both the parties.

Semantic barrier- field of experience, beliefs, background, and beliefs that influence sender and receiver to interprets their message. When semantic noise takes place decoding becomes difficult and people get diverged from the actual message.


5 thoughts on “The Osgood- Schramm Model

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