The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Viewing Facility

A location specifically designed for hosting market research interviews and group discussions. This facility, sometimes known as a viewing studio, is equipped with audio and video recording and playback facilities and with client viewing facilities, usually one-way mirrors. These enable several client observers to watch an interview or group discussion in progress, a process they often find very helpful and informative.

In the UK, the MRS Code of Conduct Guidelines requires that respondents be informed at the time of recruitment that they might be observed in this way. Participants are also routinely reminded of this on arrival, and given the chance to withdraw their co-operation then or at any time in the process. Participants must also be told by whom and for what purposes the tape recordings may be used, and actively consent to such use.

In the USA and much of continental Europe, most qualitative market research is carried out in viewing facilities (in the USA, facilities usually handle recruitment too). In the UK, however, a large proportion of work is conducted in ordinary homes, usually those of recruiters.

Synonyms, Acronyms and Abbreviations

  • Viewing Studio

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