Benchmark #03: Focus Group Research

due 9/29

A “focus group” is a tool or method of social science research based on in-depth interviews of a range of people and the gathering of their opinions. The social scientist then analyzes this data to better understand society and its culture.

Before you can produce an effective ad, you need to understand your audience. As political scientists for the Campaign Ad Project, you will interview potential voters whose opinions will help you design your campaign ad more effectively. Your goal in these interviews is to determine


  1. Each campaign ad team must conduct at least five interviews with voters from different demographic backgrounds: i.e. both men and women from various age groups and from different sides of the issue. Every member of your team must participate in at least one interview. It is recommended that your group conducts 10 interviews.
  2. You can conduct the interviews in person or over the phone. You must come to the interview prepared with questions on the issues, and most importantly, you must take careful notes on the responses. (Do an audio recording of the interview if you can.) Use the Focus Group Interview Form to guide your interview.
  3. To document the interview, fill out the Focus Group Interview Form and attach to it all notes you took during the interview. Your group must submit at least five of these forms with their notes on Monday, September 29.

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