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CHAPTER 2 Group Composition, Individual Characteristics, and Cohesion

T he effect of individual characteristics on the focus group dynamic depends on the types of individuals recruited for the group sessions. Group composition is usually considered in terms of how individual member characteristics will affect group cohesion or compatibility and subsequently how the group interacts. The effect of these characteristics on the focus group dynamic depends on the types of individuals recruited for the group sessions. For example, the amount and quality of personally relevant information disclosed in a group is directly affected by whether the group is composed of all males, all females, or some combination of both genders. The effect of gender on disclosure in focus groups interacts with the degree of acquaintanceship among group members. The following review addresses some main and interactive effects of participant characteristics on focus group dynamics. Group composition can also have intended and unintended effects on the group dynamic. Because the ...

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