Focus groups can be utilized effectively across various stages of instrument development. This article details selected aspects of a process in which they were employed at the initial stages of item generation and refinement in a study of occupational stereotyping. The process yielded rich contextual information about the worldview and corresponding terminology of participants. In addition, the use of a tool developed and previously employed as an approach to clinical case notes (i.e., SOAP notes), produced surprising benefits in documenting the focus group data. The purpose of this paper is to describe this process and highlight the insights that emerged. The process and outcomes have methodological implications for qualitative researchers conducting focus groups as well as for those developing new surveys, scales, and measurements.


Focus Groups, STEM, Occupational Stereotyping, Item Development, SOAP Notes


This project was supported by National Science Foundation, NSF HRD-0522860.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


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