Market research companies hate bias. We try to avoid it at all costs.
Oftentimes when market researchers think of bias, the top examples that come to mind occur in surveys. Check out this post that covers 5 types of bias in market research. Safe to say, bias can occur in all types of market research studies (i.e., surveys, in-depth interviews, focus groups, mystery shopping, etc.) if the team is not careful.
This post takes an inside look at group effect, which is a type of bias that effects focus groups in particular. Learn more focus group effect below from our focus group company in New York.
Here's an inside look at group effect and what it means for focus groups!
What is Group Effect?
Group effect is a type of bias that primarily effects focus groups. It can occur during a focus group discussion when participants are trying to come to similar conclusions. Moreover, focus group participants will falsely agree with others to try to reach a singular answer the majority of the group agrees with.
Typically, group effect happens when one or several focus group participants are more vocal and other participants feel need to voice similar opinions or feedback. Moderators can tell group effect is occurring if a participant says, "I agree with Jane, she is right," and does not explain any other reasoning for their agreement.
Why Should Group Effect Be Avoided?
The goal of a focus group is not to come to one singular conclusion. Instead, moderators are searching for differences as well as similarities between participants. Moderators want to understand thoughts and opinions in-depth, so group effect inhibits this conversation.
It's important to dig into reasoning behind agreement and disagreement between participants during the focus group discussion. This helps identify opinions and feedback of a larger audience the end-client is conducting the focus group on behalf of.
If all participants agree with each other, differing thoughts and opinions will not be gathered which alters and skews the findings of the study.
How Can Group Effect Be Avoided?
Here a few tips on how to avoid group effect.
When the moderator begins the discussion, remember to tell participants the purpose of the study. Remind them it is important to tell the moderator if they agree or disagree with what is being discussed. There are no right or wrong answers in focus groups.
Notice when group effect is occurring and reach out to less vocal participants to understand reasoning for agreement or disagreement. Also, if one or a few participants are particularly vocal, the moderator may want to remind these participants the goal of the focus group is to hear from everyone equally and then turn the discussion to less vocal participants.
During the recruiting process for focus groups, it is important to seek people who are comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions in a group setting. Recruiters may way to ask this question directly or ask recruits to answer a question like, "What is your favorite movie and why?" Recruiters will seek participants who can easily respond and explain their reasoning to this question.
How To Do Focus Groups?
Looking for an example focus group project? A focus group case study gives an in-depth look at a completed focus group project. It provides details on the objectives, approach, and key findings of the study.
Also, in a previous post we discussed the life cycle of a focus group discussion. This explains in-depth how the conversation should be designed.
Searching for tips to recruit for focus groups? There are 5 tips to help ensure recruiting for a focus group project is successful.
1. Clearly define the screening criteria
2. Understand industry standard
3. Start recruiting early
4. Take reminders seriously
5. Consider where and when the groups are held
Looking for a focus group facility in Syracuse, NY? Drive Research is a Syracuse-based market research company with a brand new focus group facility.
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