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Focus Groups > Focus Groups Defined

Focus Groups Defined

Focus groups are carefully planned group meetings designed to collect perceptions and information on a defined area of interest. While listening to people and learning from them, you can collect data that directly applies to the problem you are trying to solve or the decision you have to make. They also achieve one of the primary goals of all group dynamic approaches: They allow the participants to feel a sense of ownership around the issue on the table.

Typically, focus groups are composed of six to 10 participants who have some kind of interest or stake in the topic of inquiry. Someone trained in group facilitation and data collection techniques facilitates the group. A focus group session can last from one to two hours. Usually, the facilitator or a separate note-taker is responsible for recording notes of the session or for making audio- or videotapes of the session.


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