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Focus Groups

Focus groups are a research method involving interviewing groups of 4–12 individuals. They rely on the interactive group dynamic (i.e., the back-and-forth among group members) to prompt information to surface that may not otherwise emerge in one-on-one interviews. Although the field of marketing is commonly credited for the commercial as well as social scientific development of focus groups, scholars indicate that this method has roots in the study of mass media effects and persuasive communication, the use of group therapy in clinical psychology, and the study of group dynamics done by sociology and social psychology researchers. Along with having origins in the study of mass media, the method continues to play a large role in mass media research and can address research questions about ...

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