A focus group is a type of qualitative research that takes the form of a group discussion about a topic under the guidance of a trained group moderator. Focus group research is one of the most common research methods used by social scientists, marketing researchers, policy analysts, health and social services professionals, education researchers, political consultants, and other scientists and decision makers to gather information. Focus group research is a distinctive member of the qualitative research family, which also includes individual depth interviewing and ethnography, among others. Focus groups provide rich and detailed data about perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and impressions of group members in the members’ own words. After expanding on the characteristics of focus groups, this entry introduces the emerging trend of virtual focus ...
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