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Enjoy, Nancy

Monday, September 20, 2010

Off Topic: Focus Group

Below is what the focus group was about and my experience in it.

When I got to the focus group I was very nervous. First we waited in the lobby for them to take us to the business room. There were ten other besides me. We all sat around an oval table and read the paper we were given that discussed what we were about to do.

This is what the purpose of the study was about:
"The purpose of this research study is to learn more about how individuals might react to a biological disaster. We are interested in learning about what you are thinking and feeling during the simulated disaster. We are particularly interested in learning about your objectives and priorities during such an event, as well as uncertainties you might be thinking about. We are more interested in learning about how you would make critical decisions during the disaster event, including the alternatives you would consider and the likely choices you would make."

This is what was involved in the participation:
"If you volunteer to participate in this focus group discussion, you will be asked to view seven short video episodes reporting on a hypothetical biological disaster scenario in Seattle. The videos re intended to present a realistic development of the disaster; however, the events described are completely hypothetical and have been developed for research purposes only. After watching each video segment, you will be asked to respond to a set of questions and discuss them with each other. The moderator will ask you to discuss your thoughts and feelings to the disaster event and consider decisions you might face given the reported state o affairs. This process is repeated for each of the seven video segments. The moderator of the focus group will answer any questions if needed and will help guide the conversation. Your participation will be for 2 hours."

After we read this they introduced the members of the team and then we each introduced each other. It was interesting to were each person was from and whatever other information they wanted to share. We had to at least say you first name, how long we had lived in Washington, and what city we were from.

They then showed the videos and we discussed them one at a time. Some of the members were very talkative and voiced their opinion without being asked. I only commented when I was asked how I would respond.

I enjoyed being in the focus group and found it to be fun and interesting to see how different people reacted to the situation. I would do another group if given the opportunity.


Today I'm going to a Focus group. I'm excited and nervous about it. Has anyone ever done one of these? I never have so this is a new experience for me. I'll be gone for most of the day which is why I won't be listing any new free selections today.

In case you were wondering this was a paid focus group where they paid me $50 for my time and opinions. I got invited through a survey company I belong to.


  1. Was the focus group fun?

  2. Yes, it was. Thank you for asking. I have now updated the post with how it went.

  3. nancy,
    that sounds interesting. What did you get out of it? Did any of your reactions surprise you? did you learn anything about yourself you hadn't realized before?

  4. I think how I reacted would have been different if I actually lived in Seattle instead of living in a suburb of it as the situation was to take place in downtown Seattle. I'm not sure I learned anything about myself I didn't know but it showed me that I should be prepared in case something like this happened as in having a preparedness kit, be more knowledgeable with what's going on around me and that people react differently depending on their living situation and their personality.