Observational Research VS. Focus Group Research

Essay by sweetestgracieUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2005

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

1. What are the strengths and drawbacks of both observational and focus group research?

Observational research has more strengths than drawbacks. In observational research everyone gets to observe the subject then come to a conclusion together. This makes it better than Focus groups because there is not one person talking about the subject. When one person talks about the subject and everyone else listening it causes the speaker to "spice up" the story to make it more interesting. The speaker may even lean the story towards the way they want the group to decide on. This gives false interpretation and causes them to sometimes come to the wrong conclusion.

Focus groups do not invade people's privacy in order to come to the conclusion. Most people would not like to be watched while taking a shower or doing anything in their home. Observational research does not let one person take charge because everyone has the information.

There may be one or two people that try to be the head of the group, but cannot make the decision themselves. These head people may try to suede the group their way, but they are not likely to get everyone to agree with them.

2. What are the important differences between observational and focus group research techniques?

There are a few differences in the techniques that these two groups use. Observational groups have a camera on the person being observed in their natural surroundings so everyone in the group may see the recording at the same time. Focus groups have one person that observes and then reports back to the group with the story. The also have one person that has the fate of their decision in their hands. That person has more decision making power than the rest of the group because they...