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Myths About Focus Groups > Focus Groups Produce Conformity

Renderas:sect3. Focus Groups Produce Conformity

More accurately stated, focus groups can produce conformity; thus, you need to concentrate on the goal of generating a discussion that encourages people to share different points of view. Both the way you write your questions and the way you facilitate the groups provide several options for minimizing conformity problems.

Some speculate that this myth arose through confusion about the differences between focus groups and other kinds of groups. For example, a rich social-psychological tradition of studying group decision making exists. In group decision making, conformity is the central issue. Yet, decision-making groups seldom use either the trained facilitators or well-developed questioning routes that are common in focus groups. (For more information on group decision making, refer to Info-line No. 9906, “Group Decision Making.”)


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