Charles Egerton Osgood (November 20, 1916 – September 15, 1991) was a distinguished American psychologist who developed a technique for measuring the connotative meaning of concepts, known as the semantic differential.

Osgood was born in Somerville, Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University in 1945.

He was a professor of psychology of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana from 1949 to 1984, and a research professor of the Institute of Communications Research (ICR), in the UI College of Communications. He was the Director of the ICR from 1957 to 1984. He served as president of the American Psychological Association from 1962 to 1963.

One of the founding fathers of Mass Communication field.

Graduated from Marietta College in 1928 (Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science) Worked toward his Masters in American Civilization at Harvard. Completed the doctoral program at the University of Iowa in English Literature.
Launched the first doctoral program in Mass Communication studies under the field of Journalism in University of Iowa

Authored more than twenty-five books and forty journal articles
1935 – founded a literary magazine called American Prefaces: A Journal of Critical and Imaginative Writing,
1936 – founded the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
In 1941 , he joined the Office of War Information to investigate the nature of propaganda.
Helped in making Mass Communication as a scholastic discipline.

Wilbur Schramm in 1954 provided several additional models out of which the first was essentially an elaboration of Shannon’s. He introduced the concept of “commonness” between the source and the receiver. The message from the source is encoded and is transmitted in form of a signal to the receiver where it gets decoded. Here the information carried in form of a signal is encoded and decoded in the common way in which both the sender and receiver can interpret it easily.

In his second model, he introduced the concept of field experience, which helps in determining whether a message would be received at its destination in the manner intended by the source.

Schramm: Model 1 (1954)

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Schramm’s first model shows an overlap of the sender’s and receiver’s fields of experience.  For communication to be effective, the transmitted signal must fall within this shared area.

Schramm’s third model is based on the convergence or network approach. Due to various kinds of noise there are chances that the message gets distorted till it reaches the receiver, to overcome the problem he introduced the concept of feedback which helps the sender to modify the information form what he observes or hears from the receiver or the audience. The communication process now takes a circular form as both parties take on the roles of sender and recipient.

Fields of experience can be defined as, “life experiences, attitudes, values, and beliefs that each communicator brings to an interaction and that shape how messages are sent and received” (McCornack, 2010, p. 10).

Schramm: Model 2 (1954)

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This model is the first to break from the linear theories of communication.  In this circular model, the sender encodes a message which is decoded and interpreted by the receiver, who then responds by encoding another signal and passing it along. 

Schramm’s model emphasizes on the importance of feedback for the information to reach the receiver in the same manner as desired by the sender. Feedback is essential in the business environment to ensure that the constituencies interpret the information correctly from the companies.


What is Communication ?

Meaning of Communication

Communication is a process which includes transmission of information, ideas, emotions, skills,  knowledge  by  using  symbols,  words,  gestures,  and  visuals and  so  on.  Thus,  the  act  of communication is referred to as ‘transmission’.

The word communication was originated from the Latin word ‘communis’ which means ‘common’. Communion, community, communism, commonality, communalism etc. are some related words having the same linguistic roots. Similarly, newer and newer terms are being coined as the concept of communication assumes importance day by day. Communication technology, communication media, communication age, communication management are just a few.
As the very term indicates, the ultimate aim of the communication process is to create commonness between communicator and receiver of the message. Through communication, both communicator and receiver enter into a mental agreement. Thus, they achieve their goal, which may be expression of an emotion or ransmission of an idea.

Transaction, interchange, interaction, dialogue, discussion, sharing, contact are some of the concepts that come up in our minds when we refer to ‘communication’.
According to Oxford English Dictionary, communication is ‘the transfer or conveying of meaning’ (Oxford Dictionary).


1. Communication is the exchange of meanings between individuals through a common system of symbols. (I.A.Richards).
2. The transmission of information, ideas attitudes, or emotion from one person or group to another or others primarily through symbols.
(Theodorson and Theordorson)
3. Communication is the transmission and interchange of facts, ideas, feeling or course of action. (Leland Brown)
4. Communication is a social interaction through messages ( Grabner, 1967)
5. The interchange of thoughts or information to bring about mutual understanding and confidence or good human relation. (American society of Training Directors).
6. ‘One mind affecting another’ (Claude Shannon)
7. ‘The mechanism through which human relations exist and develop’ (Wilbur Schramm)
8. ‘Transmission of stimuli’ (Colin Cherry)
9. Communication is the sum of all the things one person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of another. It is a bridge of meaning. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding. (Louis Allen)
10. Communication refers to the act by one or more persons, of sending and receiving messages distorted by noise, within a context, with some effect and with some opportunity for feedback (Joseph A.Devito)