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After World War II, sociologists under the leadership of Robert K. Merton and Paul Lazersfeld began conducting focus groups. At the time, focus groups were not employed to test new products or to analyze consumer experiences with existing goods and services, as we see now. Instead, these groups were shown propaganda and morale films and asked how these communications affected them. From their original use to determine how the masses could be politically influenced, focus groups made their way to the marketplace.

Focus groups are group discussions usually based on a topic determined by the interviewer or researcher. Focus groups are aimed at obtaining participants’ opinions and views about a particular topic and are considered to be a valuable and effective qualitative research technique. The interaction ...

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