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ERIC Number: EJ1015448
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-3308
Is the Medium Really the Message? A Comparison of Face-to-Face, Telephone, and Internet Focus Group Venues
Gothberg, June; Applegate, Brooks; Reeves, Patricia; Kohler, Paula; Thurston, Linda; Peterson, Lori
Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, v7 n3 p108-127 Spr 2013
With increased use of technology in qualitative research, it is important to understand unintended, unanticipated, and unobvious consequences to the data. Using a side-by-side comparison of face-to-face, telephone, and Internet with video focus groups, we examined the yield differences of focus group venue (medium) to the data (message) rendered for 5 variables of interest: participant interactions, breadth of conversation, depth of conversation, disclosure of sensitive information, and adherence to the topic. Our comparison of data raised questions as to the influence of multiple focus group moderators, technical difficulties in the electronic medium, and consequences of non-participant "visitors" or "guests" in the focus group venue. Most importantly, the results suggested different research questions might be more suited to a particular focus group venue. (Contains 4 tables.)
Cedarville University. 251 North Main Street, Cedarville, OH 45314. Tel: 937-766-3242; Fax: 937-766-7971; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A