In Defence of the Classics

There has been a lot of talk recently about the ‘death’ of focus groups.  They’re frequently criticised for being an out-dated methodology, surpassed by new innovations in technology and in methodology.  They’re seen as ‘too System 2’, too rational.  Not an accurate read on behaviour.  Subject to biases and social norming.  Clearly flawed and unusable….

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Why are they ‘Traditional’ Focus Groups?

I’ve been doing a bit of reading lately – catching up with some Wendy Gordon, the blogs and also reading the sites of different agencies around the globe (what can I say, I’m a curious person – I own my ‘stickybeak’ tendencies). I’ve been pondering the way that many of us describe focus groups.  On…

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So you want to be a qualitative researcher?

You’re in your first few years as a researcher and you think – those quallies look like they have it pretty good.  They travel more than your average quant researcher, they seem to have fun toys to play with (play doh, collages, projective techniques), and sometimes they’re even able to come into work late! Well,…

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A Qualitative Researcher’s travel kit

There’s a piece of paper that I have kept with me since my first job.  In my early years as a researcher, it was perhaps the most useful piece of paper I had – my list of ‘what to take’ when traveling for focus groups. Looking at it now, some parts are a little out…

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The Devil in the Details: Qualitative Recruitment Screeners

I was going through my archives of presentations, papers etc I’ve written over the years and stumbled on to a presentation I prepared on writing qual recruitment screeners. Boring, basic, who cares? Right? Well yes and no…. It is really my firm belief that the qual recruitment questionnaire is one of the most important parts…

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