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Articles - Asking effective focus group questions

11/6/12 10:18 PM

Asking effective focus group questions
Tags: Focus Group-Moderating Focus Groups

Article ID: 19941203 Published: December 1994 Author: Naomi R. Henderson

Article Abstract

Focus groups are not helpful if the right questions aren’t asked. This article discusses asking effective focus group questions, including the key elements of good focus group research, the role and purpose of effective questions, question types, general questions to establish a base and the classic 10 questions for opening up areas for discussion.

Editor's note: Naomi R. Henderson is CEO of RIVA Market Research, Bethesda, Md.

In the soft brightness of fluorescent lights, eight respondents wait earnestly for the focus group session on catalog shopping to begin. Each of the eight receives more than 10 catalogs a month and spends more than $100 each month on items from those catalogs. The moderator gives a clear statement of purpose: "We're here tonight to talk about catalog shopping in general and to look at an idea for a new catalog." General guidelines for participation are given and disclosures are made about taping and one-way mirrors. Respondents introduce themselves, and the

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Articles - Asking effective focus group questions

11/6/12 10:18 PM

moderator easily builds a genial, warm rapport with the respondents. The moderator asks the first question: Why do you shop from catalogs? One participant answers, "Because it is convenient." How is it convenient? "It saves time - time you would spend driving to the mall." Another respondent says, "Because there are more choices." More choices than what? "Than what you can find in the mall or in department stores." "I just like the idea of having the world's goods just a...

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