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How do focus groups work? - Hector Lanz


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Focus groups have been widely used by organizations and individuals to find out how their products and ideas will be received by an audience. From the usage of household products to a politician’s popularity, almost everything can be explored with this technique. But how are focus groups put together? And how did they come about in the first place? Hector Lanz explains how focus groups work.

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Part of the tremendous attraction of focus groups for some researchers is they can be present at the group discussion without being seen by the participants. This is possible because professional focus groups are often carried out in a space with two environments, one for the participants and the group moderator, and another where researchers can observe the discussion through a one-way mirror. But beware! Watching your audience naturally behave is so eye-opening that sometimes observers think that they can generalize their findings to the general population; and this can be an error.

Focus groups in market research are also known for being a situation where “projective techniques” are often applied. Projective techniques are one of many things market research has borrowed from psychology. These techniques reveal things that are hidden in our minds, things that we are not conscious of, things that we do not know how to put into words or things that we simply do not want to tell others. Projective techniques should be always interpreted by an expert. Examples include completing phrases or stories, role playing, or giving human characteristics to the object of our research.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Hector Lanz
  • Director Dmitry Yagodin
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Producer Vessela Dantcheva
  • Animator Dmitry Yagodin
  • Designer Dmitry Yagodin
  • Illustrator Dmitry Yagodin
  • Sound Designer Samuel Pocreau
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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