Sonia Morán & Ying Wang What are Focus Groups? • Quantitative or qualitative? • Group interview? • Dynamics, interaction • Shared & individual characteristics When can we use Focus Groups? • Common uses • Product or programme development • Understanding ideas, attitudes, opinions • Capture language used by participants • Linking to other methods in your study Why Or… Why not to use Focus Groups? Advantages Difficulties • Efficient data collection • Less confidential • Range of views • Less control • Limited researcher influence • Non-sensitive issues • Replication of social interaction • Debate • Emerging issues • Power relations • Quiet & dominant speakers • Agreement to … • … plan Focus Groups? • … do Focus Groups? • … analyse Focus Groups Data? • Size of FG • • Number of FGs • • • • Small vs. Large Research purpose Resources available Information saturation Composition of FGs • Participants’ characteristics & relationships • Organising participants • Setting • Stimuli • • Moderator’s role • • • E.g. text, video… Researcher vs. Moderator Involvement Moderating skills • • Discussion & participants Engaging & Balancing Technical support Language Ethics Pilot study Within & Across Groups vs. Individuals Codes & Emergent Themes Frequency, Extensiveness & Intensity Consistency, change & conflict Construction of meaning & understanding Bloor, M., J. Frankland, M. Thomas and K. Robson. 2001. Focus groups in social research. London: SAGE. Fern, E. 2001. Acvanced focus group research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Hennick, M.M. 2007. International Focus Group Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Krueguer, R. A. and Casey, M. A. 2009. Focus Groups: A Practical Guide to Applied Research. London: SAGE Publications Ltd Litosseliti, A. 2003. Using Focus Groups in Research. London: Continuum Morgan, D. 1997. Focus groups as qualitative research (2 nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Questions (decision making) in all stages Research Purpose Planning & anticipating Keep focus(ed) Enjoy!