Understanding Focus Groups

Focus Groups

Focus groups are a form of qualitative research. They enable in-depth exploration into people’s feelings and beliefs. They also help us look specifically at the nature or structure of attitudes and motivations (understanding “the why” behind a behavior) rather than determining the frequency. Because focus groups are qualitative in nature the results should not be projected to the population as a whole.

Focus groups are traditionally made up of 8-10 participants and held in a focus group facility with a one-way mirror. Clients sit behind the mirror and view the discussion without being seen. This allows viewing of non-verbal behavior including facial expressions and body language.  Typically, your research consultant will have partner facilities to work with.

The discussions are digitally recorded onto DVDs. The option for viewing groups from other locations, including streaming over the Internet, is also available.

Focus groups are one of our favorite methodologies. Nancy Hardwick is a trained focus group moderator. She will guide the focus group discussion by introducing the topics of interest and encouraging maximum participation from each individual.

Group and individual exercises are incorporated to keep the participants interested and enable them to form an unbiased opinion prior to hearing from the other participants. Nancy is also responsible for controlling group dynamics and preventing one individual from dominating the discussion.