Gathering information from respondents takes place during the group discussion focused on a given subject, carried out by a professional moderator. The group usually consists of 6 – 8 participants. FGI method is based on a dialogue. Participants are encouraged to express themselves freely, oral and written, and to take part in individual and group tasks designed for gaining subconscious information.
A great benefit of FGI is the opportunity to use group processes that are evoked during the discussion:
- spontaneous effect – our opinions are formed when meeting other people and not if alone, thus the group environment is a more natural place for expressing opinions
- synergy effect – the effort of the whole group reveals additional potential of the individual, and in consequence leads to creating a wider range of opinions and ideas than it would if speaking individually with each participant
- snow ball effect – responses from some participants trigger off responses from others which means more information
- stimulation effect – a group increases the motivation to carry out a task, thus there is a bigger willingness to discuss
- security effect – a group gives a sense of security, thus opinions are expressed more freely.
FGI’s are used:
- to reveal participants’ attitudes and beliefs
- to describe the emotions associated with a product/ service/ brand
- to understand the image of a brand or product,
- to assess advertising concepts or ideas,
- to examine the motivation behind purchases and decisions,
- to look for new applications of known products (but not for new ideas as FGI is not usually so creative),
- to understand attitudes towards social phenomena.