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Transactional Models

Carsten Wünsch


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Representation and explanation of complex communication phenomena are goals of communication research and theory building. To reach these goals, communication science uses simplified representations, also known as scientific models. Scientific models describe, in simplified form, the order of elements in a system and their relations to each other. These relations can be described as temporal, spatial, causal, correlative, interactive, or transactional. A model of our solar system, for example, describes the spatial arrangement of the planets. The Lasswell formula describes the central protagonists of the communication process (communicators, recipients, media, etc.) and their temporal and causal relations in a communication model (→  Lasswell, Harold D .; Models of Communication ). A transactional relation can best be described in contrast to causal relations. In a causal relationship the two elements “cause” and “effect” can be clearly distinguished from each other. The cause always occurs before the effect. Such a causal consideration is not theoretically correct in every model. In some cases, a relation can also be described as a transaction. Here, the strict analytical separation between cause and effect is eliminated. An element changes itself at the moment at which it causes something, or, in the language of causal logic, when the effect influences the cause before it has ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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