Presentation on theme: "1 Focus Groups as Qualitative Research Taken verbatim from Focus Groups as Qualitative Research, Institute for Financial Management and Research."— Presentation transcript:
1 Focus Groups as Qualitative Research Taken verbatim from Focus Groups as Qualitative Research, Institute for Financial Management and Research
Focus Groups Focus groups are similar to group interviews, although instead of alternation between the researcher’s questions and participants’ responses, there is interaction within the group on topics supplied by a moderator, usually the researcher. From Focus Groups as Qualitative Research by David L. Morgan (1997)
Primary or supplementary source As a primary source: Requires matching of research topic with this method. As a supplementary source: Pre-survey to inform survey design. Or post-survey to clarify results. In mixed method studies: As a third source with participant observation and interviewing.
Origin and evolution First documented as group interviews in studies of effectiveness and productivity in early 1900s. Developed as a tool in marketing research, and still used in this field. Has evolved into an oft-used tool in qualitative research, and has been influenced by this tradition. Spurt in use since the 1980s.
Rules of thumb for focus groups Purposive or theoretical sample. A group of strangers (but many cases acquaintances). Relatively structured instrument. High moderator involvement. Total of 6 to 10 participants. At least 5 groups per project. Audio- or video-recording of discussion.
Similarities with dyadic interview Both not naturalistic like participant observation. Both are based on reports of thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and experiences. Both are researcher-directed. Both require purposive sampling.
What focus groups can tap Attitudes - market research Opinions - market research Experiences - qualitative research Perspectives - qualitative research
What we should keep in mind “An emphasis on perspectives brings together attitudes, opinions, and experiences in an effort to find out not only what participants think about an issue but also how they think about it and why they think the way they do.” From Morgan (1997: 20)
Instrument Cover a range of relevant topics. Provide data that are specific. Fosters interaction that explores participants’ feelings in some depth. Accounts for participants’ personal contexts in generating their responses to the topic.
Tips Plan the venue, snack, instrument, sample, and payment (if any) in advance. Funnel approach: Start with less structured and move into more structured questions. Over-recruit by 20% to compensate for no shows. Do only as many groups are needed to get trustworthy answers to the questions. Too many groups may result in repetitive answers.
Exercise Develop 8 questions for the FGD guide – 4 general questions, and 4 focused questions, for a 30 minute discussion. 10 participants in each group - write the guide together. Pick a facilitator and a note taker. Run a 30-minute FGD with the other group as your group members.
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