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@Business.Upside · Posted 02 Feb. 2021
Focus groups first started as a research method in the 1940s in the context of market research concerning radio soap operas. During the Second World War, Robert K. Merton set out to analyze the effectiveness of propaganda with the use of focus groups. Merton devised a procedure in which twelve participants at a radio studio would respond to negatively associated content by hitting a red button or positively associated information by hitting a green button. From there, Merton created an interviewing procedure to gain further insight into the subjective reactions of focus-group participants. He later established focus groups for the Bureau of Applied Social Research.