A focus group is a form of qualitative research conducted in a group interview format. The focus group typically consists of a group of participants and a researcher who serves as the moderator for discussions among the group members. In focus groups, there is not always the usual exchange of questions and answers between the researcher and the group that one would commonly envision in an interview setting. Rather, the researcher often ensures that specific topics of research interest are discussed by the entire group in hopes of extracting data and self-disclosure that might otherwise be withheld in the traditional researcher-interviewee environment. In this entry, the purpose, history, format, advantages and disadvantages, and future direction of focus groups are discussed.
The purpose of focus groups varies ...
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