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| Focus Groups and
Other In-Person Qualitative Research
In-Person Qualitative Research
In-person or face-to-face focus groups and depth interviews is the gold standard.
We employ the following in-person qualitative research techniques:
- Focus Groups. The typical focus group consists of
8 to 10 respondents (although smaller groups are possible) and a moderator.
Each session lasts from 90 to 120 minutes. The moderator creates a relaxed,
open, accepting atmosphere so that the participants feel free to express their
thoughts and feelings honestly. Usually, focus groups are conducted in rooms
with one-way mirrors to allow clients to observe. Focus groups are ideal in
the early stages of research; they can be used as a problem-reduction "filter"
when the questions and issues are so numerous that quantitative research is
not yet feasible. The focus group is an ideal exploratory
technique because of the freedom, stimulation, and spontaneity inherent in
- Sensitized Groups. Focus groups can sometimes yield
richer and more insightful answers if respondents have time to think about
a topic. For a sensitized group, respondents are in some way sensitized in
advance to allow time for reflection upon the topic. For example, respondents
may be given a list of questions several days before the group discussion,
or respondents might be asked to use a specific product or visit a store before
the group discussion. These "sensitized" respondents typically provide greater
depth of information and more insight than regular focus group respondents.
- Dyadic And Triadic Interviews. In dyadic and triadic
interviewing, two or three respondents are interviewed at the same time. This
approach provides some of the interpersonal stimulation afforded by groups,
yet allows the interviewer to cover topics in some depth. The dyadic or triadic
design lends itself to "confrontation" techniques—users can be paired
with nonusers, believers with nonbelievers, antagonists with protagonists—to
uncover underlying feelings and motives.
- Depth Motivational Studies.
A depth motivational study typically consists of 20 to 40 depth interviews.
The depth interview is a personal, face-to-face, qualitative interview lasting
from 50 to 90 minutes. Usually depth interviews are tape-recorded and transcribed.
The depth interview is the most powerful and comprehensive of the various
qualitative techniques. Depth interviews are used primarily to address motivational
questions, particularly if unconscious motives are thought to be important.
Depth interviews are used when the topic is extremely complicated and much
time is needed to cover all the questions. Depth interviews are especially
useful for sensitive topics that could not be discussed freely in a group
Experienced Qualitative Consultants
Decision Analyst has over 3 decades of qualitative research experience and
is one of the pioneers in adapting qualitative research to the Internet. Our
moderators can recommend the qualitative technique (online or in person) best
suited to your research needs.
For more information on our Qualitative Research services, please contact Gwen
Ishmael, Senior Vice President, Director Insights & Innovation, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.
Additional Resources from Decision Analyst
Qualitative Research Services
Qualitative Research Brochures
Qualitative Research Case Histories
Qualitative Research White Papers