Texas Tech University

Focus Group Room

Focus Group Control Room

Focus group testing is a popular way of studying behavior across a wide variety of contexts and disciplines. The method allows for in-depth and flexible examination of a topic to yield valuable insights into perceptions of a given topic. Although focus groups can be conducted almost anywhere, the Focus Group Lab in the Center for Communication Research was designed as an ideal space for the in-depth study of communication behavior.

Lab Hardware. To record the focus group session, the lab is equipped with three remote observation cameras and ceiling-mounted microphones to allow the discrete observation and recording of group dynamics. In addition, the room also provides an overhead projector and computer to facilitate the testing of websites, videos, or other types of messages.

Because focus groups can vary in size, our lab was equipped with modular seating that can be rearranged to meet the needs of various layouts and sizes. Whether your group has 5 or 15 people, the lab can be rearranged to meet your needs.

Observation Room. The Focus Group Lab also allows the unobtrusive observation of group interaction from our remote observation room that is adjacent to the lab. In this observation room, two-way mirrors allow you to view the group exchanges while the session is underway. Speakers and two high definition monitors allow you to also watch the group interaction via the remote observation cameras. During the session, a video technician can control the cameras to focus on individual group members. Finally, the focus group session is recorded to a DVD for later review or transcription.

Sample Study. The CCR has conducted focus groups for a variety partners, including faculty within the College of Media & Communication as well as those outside the Texas Tech community. Focus group testing is often an integral part of strategic communication campaigns, where multiple methods are used in tandem to provide a comprehensive look at a specific communication problem. For example, study participants can indicate response to a message using our Continuous Response Lab before researchers probe for a richer understanding of why viewers responded as they did. In addition, focus group testing could provide a foundation to help develop the questionnaire for a large-scale online survey.