enabling techniques

Projective Techniques: Do We Know What They Are Projecting?

A focus group moderator’s guide will often include group exercises or facilitation techniques as alternative approaches to direct questioning.  While many of these alternative tactics are not unique to the group discussion method, and are also used in in-depth intercollageview research, they have become a popular device in focus groups, esp., in the marketing research field.  These alternative approaches can be broadly categorized as either enabling or projective techniques, the difference being whether the moderator’s intent is to simply modify a direct question to make it easier for group participants to express their opinions (enabling techniques) or  delve into participants’ less conscious, less rational, less socially-acceptable feelings by way of indirect exercises (projective techniques).   Examples of enabling techniques are: sentence completion – e.g., “When I think of my favorite foods, I think of _____.” or “The best thing about the new city transit system is _____.”; word association – e.g., asking prospective college students, “What is the first word you think of when Read Full Text