Section 4.10 Methods

Section 4.10 Methods

Section 4.10 Methods


A focus group is:

“… a group of individuals selected and assembled by researchers to discuss and comment on, from personal experience, the topic that is the subject of the research.” (Powell et al 1996 p 499)


This emphasis on organised discussion as a key aspect of focus groups was also noted by (Kitzinger 1994) and, given Dexter’s definition of an interview as a “conversation with a purpose” (1970 p136), focus groups can be seen as a form of group interview guided by a group facilitator known as a ‘moderator’.


The main purpose of focus group research is to draw upon respondents’ attitudes, feelings, beliefs, experiences and reactions in a way in which would not be feasible using other methods, for example one-to-one interviewing or questionnaire surveys.


In order for focus groups to function effectively they need:

4.10 focus groups.jpg


Activity 4.10

What is the difference between a group interview and a focus group? When would one be preferable over the other?

Submit your answers


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