Focus group: Everything communicates *

Versión en español:

Imagine that you are in a room with six or up to twelve people with whom you share social, professional and / or demographic characteristics, discussing ideas, opinions, thoughts and perceptions about a particular topic with them. Sounds a bit complicated, does not it?

It is a conversation that is guided by a moderator, who encourages each one of the participants to speak. This is known as a focus group.

The focus groups serve to gather information from the experiences and knowledge of the participants, the information emerges during the exchanges between the participants, the advantages derived from the sense of belonging and cohesion generated by the group, which allows :

  • Trust and greater ease to talk about topics that interest the participants.

  • Spontaneity of the conversation between the interlocutorsP

  • Possibility of generating a problem and, at the same time, discovering how to connect ideas in a specific context.

One of the main characteristics of the focus groups is the interaction that takes place between the participants; however, in most cases, the results are analyzed as one, leaving aside the individuality of each of the responses, although not completely.

Let’s see, there are methods of analysis for the focal investigation that can help to solve the problems that arise when applying the focus groups: the analysis of the microinterlocutor and the conversational analysis.

The analysis of the micro-speaker consists in taking into account the number of response patterns among the participants of the focus group, focusing on the consensus and disagreement that occurred during the discussion, because even though the group of participants must have things in common , we all think In addition, everyone has their own vision of the world.

On the other hand, the conversational analysis has to do with how it is said, what is said and what can be said during the participations. This method allows to recognize the way in which the dialogue is established between the moderator and the members of the focal group and of course among themselves.

Both methods help to understand and the results of the groups.


Onwuegbuzie, A.J., Dickinson, W.B., Leech, N.L., & Zoran, A.G. (2009). A Qualitative Framework for Collecting and Analyzing Data in Focus Group Research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 1-21.

José Fernando García, twitter: @jose_garciadiaz
Jessica Mireles, twitter: @Jessica_Mirest
Esmeralda Lizeth del Río, twitter: @ esmedrg20
Diana Karen Jaime, twitter: @diana_karens
Abraham García, twitter: @ abraham_gm1916
Luis Enrique Morales Flores, twitter: @LuisMoralFlores