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The claws are out! Introducing the CAT (Communication Analysis Tool) – Part 1

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

by Georgia Hay

Hi! I’m Georgia, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Transformative Work Design, and part of the team who have developed our very own CAT!

Not to worry, we don’t need to have the cats versus dogs debate (because we all know what the right answer is…). CAT stands for:

Communication Analysis Tool

Dr. Florian Klonek and I were inspired to develop CAT, alongside Professor Sharon Parker and software developer Ding Wang, when it became clear that we needed a better way to understand social interactions in the workplace.

We each had experienced trying to research teamwork in the healthcare sector, and being frustrated by the outdated and laborious methods available to us to document and analyse interactions within these teams.

  • Are you a researcher? (especially in teamwork or leadership)? Have you ever tried to take detailed notes while observing teamwork or dyad interactions? Have you ever struggled to give feedback to organisations in a timely manner?

  • Are you a consultant? Have you ever tried to give comprehensive feedback or advice based on self-report data that takes weeks to analyse and compile into a report?

  • Are you a university lecturer? Have you ever struggled to give students accurate and comprehensive presentation feedback based on hasty handwritten notes?

CAT is a tool that researchers and consultants can use to document social interactions, quickly generate feedback reports at the end of the session, and export the raw data for further analysis. Users customise their own coding scheme based on what they want to measure.

CAT is a web-based application that can be used on a tablet, mobile, laptop, or desktop device to code interactions live or video-recorded.

For an in-depth introduction to CAT, check out Meredith Carr’s fantastic virtual lecture here:

Still not sure if you could use CAT in your work? Stay tuned for the upcoming posts in this series, where we will give some examples of how CAT can be used, including videos from our very own ‘CAT lovers!’

For further details on the functionality and history of CAT, and how to access it, click here.

For the Curtin University media release on CAT, click here.

Georgia Hay

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