Qualitative psychological research
In psychology, qualitative research has come to be defined as research whose findings are not arrived at by statistical or other quantitative procedures. Its goal is to understand behaviour in the natural setting, and it is often said to be naturalistic. Two other goals attributed to qualitative research are understanding a phenomenon from the perspective of the research participant and understanding the meanings people give to their experiences. It attempts to do this by using so-called naturalistic methods—interviewing, observation, ethnography, participant observation, and focus groups. Each of these methods seeks to understand the perspective of the research participant within the context of their everyday life. This means that the researcher is concerned with asking broad questions that allow the respondent to answer in their own words, and to qualify their understanding by asking further probing questions. In addition, the researcher observes people within natural settings—particularly those in public places.
Qualitative research is sometimes said to have as its goal the understanding of the sample studied, rather than generalizing from the sample to the population. For example, the research findings of a qualitative case study of primary school children in a particular school and their mobile phone usage will tell us more about the mobile phone usage of children in the general population than of adults. However, the type of school (public or private), where it was located, and the socio-economic background of the students need to be taken into consideration when applying any findings to other settings (either schools or the general population of children).
Qualitative psychological research emphasizes fieldwork, and this emphasis has been offered as a distinguishing mark. Qualitative psychological research is also described as holistic. That is, qualitative researchers believe in studying phenomena in their context rather than concentrating on narrow aspects of the phenomena. This means that they either observe or participate in the phenomena they are studying, e.g. attending a football game to understand the behaviours of fans, or asking open-ended questions about the behaviour of fans at football games. These questions are holistic because they are designed to understand the context of behaviour—they will usually try to replicate the experience, e.g. "What did you do when you arrived? Who did you come with? What did you do then?" Similar methods are sometimes also used by quantitative researchers.
In addition to the methods mentioned above, qualitative research incorporates a wide range of ways to analyse the data. One of the most popular of these is known as grounded theory. Others include conversation analysis, discourse analysis, thematic analysis, and even historical analysis.
- 1 Origins and methods
- 2 Applications
- 3 Focus Groups
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Further reading
Origins and methods
The philosophical bases of qualitative psychological research are found in phenomenology, ethnomethodology, and naturalistic behaviourism. Its research methods are derived from ethnography and anthropology.
In psychology, the research methods commonly classified as qualitative include:
- participant observation
- direct observation
- unstructured interviewing
- case studies
- content analysis
- protocol analysis
- focus groups
The data collected by researchers using these techniques consist of:
- the results of open-ended interviews
- notes of direct observation
- written documents (answers to questionnaires, diaries, program records, etc.)
After collecting data, the goal of researchers is to examine their data in detail and in depth. Qualitative methods are, in particular, widely used as exploratory methods; the results of qualitative analysis are used to design quantitative research which tests null hypotheses derived from the qualitative observations.
Those researchers who prefer qualitative research argue that statistically-based research has limitations, as it is less able to take into consideration the context of behaviour. Qualitative researchers have developed their own criteria for assessing reliability and validity. The work of Yvonna Lincoln and Egon Guba is an example of this.
Confirmability is a qualitative concept analogous to the concept of objectivity in quantitative research. It is the degree to which research results can be confirmed by other researchers.
Transferability has been proposed as a qualitative substitute for psychometric validity. Research findings are transferable to the extent to which they can be generalized to settings other than the one in which they were made.
It could be argued, however, that any concept which attempts to assess degree or extent is inherently quantitative.
In qualitative research, the researcher is the primary data collection instrument. Qualitative research involves:
Interviewing, focus groups, and participant observation are the most common modes of qualitative data gathering.
Participant observation is a method particularly employed by ethnographers in the anthropological tradition. It is used to learn about the naturally occurring routines, interactions, and practices of particular groups of people in their social environments, in order to understand their cultures.
When a researcher becomes one of the participants in the situation under observation, that person is a participant observer.
Qualitative data can be used to strengthen quantitative and intervention research designs (i.e., experimental, quasi-experimental). For example, educational psychologists could conduct a qualitative pilot study by observing or interviewing different groups of students, to determine which group should be selected for a quantitative study.
Qualitative data analysis requires reviewing, summarizing, generalizing, and interpreting data in an appropriate and accurate way. It has to describe and explain the phenomena or social worlds being studied. One of the most important steps in the qualitative research process is analysis of data. Analyzing qualitative data requires researchers' patience. There are two different analytical procedures: meaning-focused and discovery-focused. Meaning-focused approaches emphasize meaning comprehension. In other words, try to understand the subjective meaning of experiences of the participants, instead of put them into the researchers' own words. Discovery-focused techniques aim to establish patterns and connections among elements of data. However, no matter which procedure is used, it is essential to apply an effective system for retrieving data because of the identity of qualitative data analysis, which is exploring data progressively.
There is a variety of available analysis tools and strategies for qualitative data analysis:
- Constant–Comparison Analysis, or "coding system": Coding enables the researcher to locate and bring together similarly labeled data for examination and to retrieve data related to more than one label when considering patterns, connections, or distinctions between them.
- Keywords-in-Context: Is a data analysis method that reveals how respondents use words in context by comparing words that appear before and after key words. KWIC analysis is helpful when there are specific words that are of interest to the researcher or when the data appear to be less rich in information.
- Word Count: Word counts are based on the belief that all people have distinctive vocabulary and word-usage patterns.
- Classical Content Analysis: Is similar to constant comparison analysis and is used frequently in qualitative research.
- Domain Analysis: Represents a search for the larger units of cultural knowledge, which Spradley called domains.[full citation needed] This method of analysis stems from the belief that symbols are an important way of communicating cultural meaning. This analysis should be used when researchers are interested in understanding relationships among concepts.
- Taxonomic Analysis: Is the second step after domain analysis. This analysis helps the researcher to understand how participants are using specific words.
- Componential Analysis: Is another step that can be undertaken after domains are created. It is used when a researcher is trying to uncover relationships between words.
Using computers in qualitative data analysis
Many computer programs are available to help in analyzing qualitative data. The capacity of computers to effectively sort, store, and retrieve information makes their use in qualitative data analysis appealing. However, it is important to notice that computers can only aid in some parts of analysis; computer software does not code data nor can replace conceptual analysis. It cannot analyse qualitative data for the researcher.
Qualitative research methodologies are oriented towards developing an understanding of the meaning and experience dimensions of human lives and their social worlds. Good qualitative research is characterized by congruence between the perspective that informs the research questions and the research methods used.
In educational psychology, qualitative research is used gain an understanding of the collecting and meaning of relevant nonnumerical data, in order to gain insights into various psychological phenomena. The main criterion of good qualitative research is whether the research participants' subjective meanings, actions, and social contexts, as understood by them, are made clear. Qualitative logic is used to examine common patterns of behaviour and is widely used in educational psychology. Educational psychologists have only infrequently relied on qualitative literature in the past 11 years in designing their research studies; but it appears that there has been an increase in the number of educational psychologists publishing studies using qualitative designs frameworks in the past 5 years. On the other hand, the qualitative approach has its weaknesses. Qualitative formats for representing knowledge, such as text, afford insights into a learner's understanding but are difficult to assemble into summary formats that concisely show a learner's progress or allow comparisons among learners or across groups. The most fundamental and significant distinction between quantitative and qualitative research methods concerns how the data is collected and analyzed, which is this article's focus.
In health psychology, qualitative methods have become an increasingly popular research approach to understanding health and illness, and how these are socially constructed in everyday life. The value of this approach was championed in 1998 by a special issue of the Journal of Health Psychology devoted to qualitative research, edited by Michael Murray and Kerry Chamberlain. This was followed, in 1999, by the textbook Qualitative Health Psychology: Theories and Methods, edited by the same two researchers. Since then, a broad range of qualitative methods have been adopted by heath psychologists: including discourse analysis, thematic analysis, narrative analysis, and interpretative phenomenological analysis. In 2015, the American Psychological Association journal Health Psychology published a special issue on qualitative research edited by Brendan Gough and Janet A. Deatrick.
Qualitative psychological research has become one of the most effective ways of gathering insight into the behaviours, attitudes, and decision-making of consumers. Most qualitative-research companies will claim that they employ psychologists and base their findings on psychological theory. The psychological methodologies applied to qualitative marketing research are continually being further developed. One example of psychological theory developed specifically for use in marketing research is morphological psychology.
Over the past decade, focus-group discussions, as a qualitative methodology, have gained popularity in the social sciences. Prior to the late 1970s, focus groups were mainly used in marketing and other studies in the field of business. They have since become more popular in fields such as education, communication, media studies, feminist research, sociology, and social psychology. Focus groups are also known as "group interviews", and their members are encouraged to interact and discuss. The data collected from focus group discussions are seldom duplicated through interviews.
Focus-group discussions focus on processes beyond individual memory and desire, and the complexity of group dynamics should be considered. Focus groups can give access to interactional dynamics that elicit particular memories, ideologies, and practices of the group members. Focus groups help us move toward constructing a "methodology of getting lost" and toward enacting "double practices".[full citation needed] This seems a necessary step toward conducting qualitative research. Keeping norms and rules of groups in mind, the researcher and research participants realize that the interpretation of an individual is situated, provisional, contingent, and unstable. Thus, it is unchangeable. It is necessary for the researcher to have self-reflectivity that involves making the research a transparent, rhetorical, and poetic work of the researcher in representing the object of the study. It is important to construct a mutual ground between the researcher and the research participants. The second sense of self-reflectivity involves the importance of seeing interpretive research as the dual practice of knowledge-gathering and self-transformation being accomplished through self reflection and mutual reflection. Allowing ourselves to dwell in the existing inevitable indeterminacies, we are leading ourselves along the best way of qualitative research practice.
According to Lederman, a focus group is a "technique that involves the use of profound group interviews in which participants are selected because they are a purposive sampling of a specific population, with the group being 'focused' on a given topic". According to Powell et al., a group of individuals selected and gathered by researchers to discuss and comment on, from personal experience, the topic that is the subject of the research form a focus group.
Some of the features of focus-group discussions include a member's involvement, a number of consecutive meetings, common characteristics of members with respect to interests, the evolvement of qualitative data, and discussion that is focused on a topic that is determined by the purposes of the research. In other words, a focus group is an informal discussion about a particular topic among a group of selected individuals.[full citation needed] A focus group, as a research method, is more than a one-participant-per-data-collection session.
Focus groups usually have from 4 to 10 members. The group size depends on the topic. It should be understood that the size should be small enough so that all the members get a chance to share their views and large enough for people to share different perspectives. Participants have similar backgrounds but are unfamiliar to each other, which will lessen the possibility of clashes. The group should not be too homogenous, because some amount of heterogeneity is required to get useful information when it comes to recalling past events. The main purpose is to determine the perceptions, feelings, and manners of thinking, and are not aimed at developing consensus nor arriving at some agreement. This data provides insight into the phenomenological world of the members, taking into consideration their attitude, perceptions, and thoughts. Collecting qualitative data requires skilled people as discussion leaders. Focus groups have a focused discussion wherein the leader maintains focus on a particular topic. This helps the discussion to stay on track, as every member may different ideas about the topic under discussion.
The significance of focus-group methodology is that it helps in exploring what people perceive and think, and understanding why the members have certain opinions about what they believe in. Jenny Kitzinger,[full citation needed] a famous focus group researcher, is of the opinion that the focus-group method is an "ideal" approach for examining the stories, experiences, points of view, beliefs, needs, and concerns of individuals. Working in a group enables the researchers to receive different forms of communication that the members use in their day-to-day interactions with others, which involve joking, arguing, and teasing. This method is important, since it may not be easy, or even possible, to receive the knowledge and perceive attitudes of people when they are asked direct questions.
One of the main purposes of focus-group discussions is to get insight into the respondents' phenomenological world of experience, thinking, perceiving, and feeling, which might be independent of a group or its cultural and social settings but are more likely to be revealed in interaction with other people in a group or other social setting. Focus-group discussions help in elaborating the different viewpoints and emotional processes of each member within a group. The individual interview is simpler for the researcher to control, but a focus-group discussion helps the researcher to gain a larger pool information in a lesser amount of time. However, focus-group discussions are still organized and planned. The discussions are especially helpful when there are differences relating to power between its members, decision-makers, or professionals; and when the researcher or a member wants to understand and explore the level of consensus on a given topic.
How to conduct focus-group discussions
When conducting a focus-group discussion where the topic being discussed is of sensitive nature, it is recommended that the participants be of the same sex, age-range and socio-economic background. The group moderators should also be of the same sex, if the topic of discussion is sensitive. It is also desirable that the participants do not know each other prior to the discussion.
Informed consent must be granted before beginning the discussion, where the members should be briefed about the topic of discussion, informed about their rights, and confidentiality (e.g., that their identities will not be revealed in any report or publication).
Important considerations are the homogeneity of the group members, settings, and the nature of open-ended questions, which will encourage the members to talk more freely, free from constraints they might feel during a personal interview. The discussion must be held in a relaxed and natural setting, with the entire session recorded (audio or visual). There should also be a note-taker who writes down all important aspects of the discussion, but who is not a part of it. This note-taker must have in-depth knowledge about the issue at hand, should be trained in observing verbal and non-verbal feedback (for example, noting facial expressions), and whose duty it is to translate the notes taken during session into data for analysis.
Areas of interest to be discussed during the session need to be specified by the moderators and organizers prior to the session and then, it is the duty of the moderator to make sure that all these areas are covered during the discussion. The moderator, and whose duty it is to introduce new topics, directs the conversation and encourages participation, while being unbiased throughout the discussion.
According to Puchta and Potter, it is very important to produce an informal environment for the group.[full citation needed] The moderator should facilitate in creating an environment that encourages members to share and put forth their views, while keeping track of the discussion and preventing it from drifting from the topic under discussion. Often the participants do not know each other; and, so, it is the job of the moderator to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and there is good rapport. The purpose and format of the discussion should be made clear at the beginning of the session. All participants should be encouraged to participate, share their views, and be told that divergent views are welcome.
Flick says that a formal explanation of the procedure should be given to the participants. Expectation-setting is an essential component in this step. Expectations can include being involved in the discussion, arguing about certain topics, and collective problem solving. Introducing the members to one another, and having a "warm up", is necessary to prepare them for the discussion. Here, the moderator establishes the common ground of the members to facilitate community feeling. The actual discussion takes place following "discussion stimuli", which may be in the form of a provocative thesis, a short film, lecture on a text, or unfolding of a concrete problem for which a solution needs to be found. In groups where the members do not know one another in advance, phases of strangeness with, of orientation to, adaptation to, and familiarity with the group, as well as conformity and possibility of the discussion drying up, are addressed.
The questions must be open ended and there should be smooth transitions among the types of questions asked throughout the course of the discussion. The session should ideally start with introductory questions to address the general topic, helping the participants to understand the broader context of the issue, followed by key questions designed to address the specific information, and ending with questions aimed to summarize the opinion of all the participants.
Role of the leader
"Pre-session strategy" refers to the group leader's ability to understand the importance of small talk just prior to a group discussion. The leader must cordially greet the group members and begin small talk, while at the same time avoid the topics and issues that will be discussed during the sessions. This will allow the group leader to observe the kind of interactions and understand which participant has what qualities. Recording, by tape recording and note-taking, is beneficial for the leader. Note-taking is useful as notes can be utilized even if the tape recorder stops working. Someone other than the group leader should take detailed notes of the discussion. The beginning of the discussion includes overview and topic, ground rules, and the first question. The overview must provide an explanation of the purpose and importance of the topic of discussion. Ground rules must be stated explicitly. Some examples are: minimizing or eliminating side conversations, one person talks at a time, no criticizing what others have to say, and treating everyone's opinion with respect and dignity. The initial conversation should include an "ice breaker", in order to make the members more comfortable and open.
"Pause-and-probe" should be part of the skill set of the leader, to give each participant a chance to jump in. As a general rule, the leader should pause for at least five seconds after a participant talks or before beginning to talk. Probes—such as "would you explain that further?" or "Would you give me an example?"—help to elicit additional information. Focus-group leaders should be prepared for the unexpected. Some examples of unexpected events are: no one showing up (make sure you bring a list of phone numbers), only a few showing up (hold group anyway), meeting place is too distant for some members, the group members becoming too involved and not wanting to leave (have formal ending), or bad weather (call everyone and cancel). Focus-group leaders should plan the theme for group discussions and have a printed outline for the meetings. Discussions may be more productive when every member of the focus group has a copy of the printed agenda before starting the discussion, which would allow each member to have time to review the topics and focus on key issues. Listening and note-taking enable focus group leaders to guide the group discussions by keeping the focus on what each person is saying. The leader focuses on similar phrases and words to narrow down the discussion to a single topic. The leader should use counseling skills for the discussion to take place effectively.
"Rephrasing" refers to the focus-group leader repeating what others are saying for more clarification during a group discussion. The leader typically asks group members for more in-depth opinions after rephrasing. It allows group members a broad perspective, in order to view topics from different angles and with different interpretations.
"Emotional control" refers to the group leader's ability to control his or her emotions in order for the discussion to be effective. It requires developing a tough skin to be able to take the lead in the discussion when people lose their tempers. Leaders must aim to diffuse anger and redirect emotions with constructive analysis and suggestions. S/he must provide an avenue for acting out emotions constructively. After dealing with outbursts, the leader must redirect the focus of group discussion.
"Moderating skills" means a group leader must understand and regulate the unofficial roles assumed by all the group members during the discussion and use the members to help solve group problems. For example, the role of the "tension reducer" is to help the members to resolve conflicts and differences in order to reduce anxiety, while the "task master" helps the members to focus on the purpose of the meeting. Group leaders must be mentally alert, listen well, and think quickly in order to have an effective group discussion. The leader must have all the questions memorized or near at hand. The leader should know how to formally conclude a session. The leader should thank the group members for participating in the session, summarize what was discussed, and ask if something was left out of that summary. This formal conclusion helps the group members to have a better idea of what happened.
Advantages and disadvantages of focus-group discussions
The use of focus groups has several advantages in collecting data while conducting qualitative research. Focus-group research can be used as part of a purely qualitative method or in combination with quantitative techniques to explore the meaning of quantitative facts and helps in the development of subsequent surveys. The moderator can inquire into and examine unforeseen issues with this format. The format provides face-validity and is naturalistic, as it includes storytelling, joking, disagreements, and boasting. It is simple and relatively inexpensive to implement. It consumes less time than structured interviews, thus increasing sample sizes, lessening resource investment, and providing fast results. It is more efficient when the data being gathered is related to the researcher's interests. It is helpful and important for needs-assessment and project-evaluation. Information is gained from group interactions in a controlled setting, due to group dynamics, information that can't be gained in other ways. Often these interactions result in creating 'synergistic effects'. Vocabulary can be observed. The reactions of participants to each other can be analyzed. It helps in obtaining and gathering contracted and incisive data of a specific topic. New, insightful perspectives and opinions are obtained. Sensitive topics can be discussed, leading to personal disclosures. The moderator keeps the discussion in sync with the topic and makes sure no one individual can dominate the group; creating an 'egalitarian' method. Non-verbal behavior plays a role in the moderator's decision-making and research results, there being an increased possibility of gaining rich and in-depth information. Previously neglected or unnoticed phenomena can be brought to the researcher's attention.
Though focus groups method of data collection has several advantages; the limitations of the same cannot be ignored. This method gives less experimental control. Data collected is usually difficult to analyze; as the discussion must be audio or videotaped, field notes to be recorded, and comments transcribed verbatim. It requires carefully trained interviewers. Groups may vary considerably and may be difficult to assemble. Discussion must be conducted in an environment that is conducive to conversation. There is high potential for leading questions and bias. The ability of the leader to facilitate the discussion may be critical, as the group largely relies on the assisted discussion in order to produce results. There is the need for skilled leaders. There is a high chance or risk for the leader to dominate or 'hijack' the discussion. Results obtained may be biased, as one or two people may dominate the discussion. There may be difficulties in terms of the sample study results representing the population, as participants are self-selected; hence generalization becomes difficult or impossible. The moderator may influence the group interactions, thus distorting results or findings. The participants' involvement in, and contribution to, the discussion plays a major role. Issues may arise if topics are controversial in nature, leading to disagreements and arguments. Dealing with sensitive topics is a challenge. A contrived or artificial environment may influence the interactions and responses, thus leading to biased results. Ethical issues may arise regarding confidentiality. Measurement validity may be low. Opportunistic use of focus groups results in improvised research design and impoverished data.
- For example see Hutchins, Edwin (1995), Cognition in the Wild, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, ISBN 978-0-262-08231-0
- For an example of a historical approach to psychology see Wertsch, James (1998), Mind as Action, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-511753-0
- Lincoln, Y., & Guba, G. (2003). Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions, and emerging confluences. In N. Denzin, & Y. Lincoln (Eds.). The landscape of Qualitative Research – Theories and issues (2nd ed.) (pp. 253–276). Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage
- Fossey, E., Harvey, C., McDermott, F., & Davidson, L. (2002). Understanding and evaluating qualitative research. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 36(6), 717-732. doi:10.1046/j.1440-1614.2002.01100.x.
- Leech, N., & Onwuegbuzie, A. (2007). An array of qualitative data analysis tools: A call for data analysis triangulation. School Psychology Quarterly, 22(4), 557-584. doi:10.1037/1045-3822.214.171.1247.
- Spradley 1979
- Butler, D. (2006). Frames of Inquiry in Educational Psychology: Beyond the Quantitative-Qualitative Divide. Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 903-927). Mahwah, NJ US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
- Nesbit, J., & Hadwin, A. (2006). Methodological Issues in Educational Psychology. Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 825-847). Mahwah, NJ US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
- Murray, M. & Chamberlain, K. (Eds.) (1998). Qualitative research [Special issue]. Journal of Health Psychology, 3(3), 291-445
- Murray, M. & Chamberlain, K. (eds.) (1999). Qualitative Health Psychology: Theories and Methods. London: Sage
- Gough, B., & Deatrick, J.A. (eds.)(2015). Qualitative Research in Health Psychology [special issue]. Health Psychology, 34(4)
- lather, 2001
- Rabiee, F. (November 2004). "Focus-group interview and data analysis". Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 63 (4): 655–660. doi:10.1079/pns2004399. PMID 15831139.
- Gibbs, Anita (Winter 1997). "Focus Groups". Social Research Update (19). Retrieved 28 January 2020.
- Freitas, H.; et al. (February 1998). "The Focus Group, A Qualitative Research Method" (PDF). Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. ISRC Working Paper 010298. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
- Wilkinson 2004
- Ogunbameru, O. A. (2003). "Focus Groups: Issues and Approaches" (PDF). The Anthropologist. 5 (1): 1–8. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
- n.d. (2009). Focus Group MethodoloGy: Introduction and history. Retrieved from Sage Publications: http://www.sagepub.in/upm-data/39360_978_1_84787_909_7.pdf
- Kitzinger, Jenny 2005
- Kreuger, D. M. (1993). When to use Focus Groups and Why? Successful Focus Groups .
- Odimegwu, C. O. (2000). Methodological Issues in the Use of Focus Group Discussions as a Data Collection Tool. Retrieved from KRE Publishers: http://www.krepublishers.com/02-Journals/JSS/JSS-04-0-000-000-2000-Web/JSS-04-02-03-117-2000-Abst-PDF/JSS-04-02-03-207-212-2000.pdf
- Toolkit for Conducting Focus Groups. (n.d.). Retrieved from Rowan Education: http://www.rowan.edu/colleges/chss/facultystaff/focusgrouptoolkit.pdf
- Puchta and Potter 2004
- Flick, U. (2006). An Introduction to Qualitative Research. California: Sage Publications.
- Magloff, L. (n.d.). Focus Group Technique. Retrieved from Chron: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/focus-group-technique-10741.html
- Leach, Glen (2018). "Qualitative Psychological Research". Forensic Psychology. Scientific e-Resources. pp. 130–140. ISBN 978-183947409-5. Retrieved January 29, 2020. "Focus Groups Advantages and Disadvantages". Scribd. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
- Savithiri, R. (2009). spotlights on focus groups. Canadian family physician, 218-219.
- Deem, R. (1997). Focus Groups. Retrieved December 5, 2014, from Focus Groups: Plymouth Education: https://web.archive.org/web/20141124231416/http://www.edu.plymouth.ac.uk/resined/interviews/focusgroups.htm
- Silverman, D. (2004). Focus group research. In D. Silverman, Qualitative Research Theory, Method and Practice (pp. 177–200). New Delhi: Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd.
- Morgan, D. L. (n.d.). Focus groups as qualitative research. Retrieved December 5, 2014, from https://www.kth.se/social/upload/6566/morgan.pdf
- "Tools for Qualitative Researchers: Focus Groups Method". National Center for Postsecondary Improvement. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
- n.d. (n.d.). Southalabama Education: Strengths and Weaknesses of Focus Groups. Retrieved December 5, 2014, from Southalabama.edu/coe/bset/johnson/oh_master: http://www.southalabama.edu/coe/bset/johnson/oh_master/Ch6/SWFOCUSG.pdf
- n.d. (n.d.). Focus Groups: Issues Regarding Advantages and Disadvantages. Retrieved December 5, 2014, from PBworks Focus Groups: Issues Regarding Advantages and Disadvantages: http://focusgroups.pbworks.com/w/page/5677430/Issues%20including%20advantages%20and%20disadvantages
- Barbour.R (2008). Doing focus groups. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Barbour, R., & Kitsinger, J. (1999). Developing focus group research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- K.Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). (2011). The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research (Vol. 4). New Delhi: The SAGE.