Why should I participate?
We value your opinion. Whether you are knowledgeable about the topic at hand or would just like to share your thoughts and maybe learn a thing or two, we are very interested in any of your experiences or thoughts that relate to the topic at hand. At the end of the session you will be compensated for your time.
Who else will be there?
People like you, and your neighbors and members of your community will participate. You’ll be invited to attend based on the particular issue that’s being studied. Based on a preliminary phone interview, we’ll determine if you’re a good fit for the focus group we’re conducting. If you’re not selected this time, rest assured we’ll be contacting you at a future date when we conduct another group.
How should I prepare?
Just be yourself. Be sure to come on time and be prepared to share your opinions. We only ask that you respect the rights of others to speak freely. We’ll tell you how long the session will last and provide refreshments. Sorry, these sessions are for adults only and we’ll be unable to provide any child-sitting services.
Who uses the information?
Your personal information remains confidential. No one will contact you to sell or market products and services to you. We are only interested in your candid opinions. The information that is collected during the session will be used strictly for research. We do videotape the sessions to maintain an accurate accounting of what is said during the group. Those tapes are not shared with outside parties.
What is a Focus Group?
Social scientists have been using focus groups since the early 1930s, when they were searching for alternatives to interviews. Today, focus groups are a popular form of qualitative research for several reasons: participants are encouraged to provide their opinions and points of view about products and services in a non-threatening manner; they are easily accessible to a wide range of consumers; they are conducive to repetition; they represent a relatively inexpensive form of research; and, they provide immediate data for analysis. Led by a moderator, who is usually a trained researcher with the ability to gain valuable insights through group discussion, the groups typically include six to eight participants.
There are at least four forms of focus groups. One is consumer-oriented market research, where focus groups provide manufacturers with feedback on new products; a second type of focus group research is academically scientifically oriented; a third is a public/non-profit approach; and a fourth is participatory research where community members become involved as participants.