The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Group discussion

In a market research group discussion, participants unknown to each other are brought together, in a particular neutral location, for the specific purpose of discussing an issue, or responding to ideas or materials, of interest to the client of the research.

"Group discussion" has been the usual term for this field method in the UK, but use of the US term "focus group" has greatly increased. There are, however, important differences in research traditions between these communities that are potentially masked by this process. Broadly, focus groups tend to refer to the cognitive model and group discussions tend to refer to the conative model of qualitative market research.

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