An integrative approach to measurement: focus groups as a survey pretest

Jennifer Cyr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article brings the integrative mixed-methods approach into the discussion on measurement, description, and conceptualization. Specifically, it examines one fruitful combination that has received scant attention: that of focus groups and surveys. It shows that focus groups, as a survey pretest, improve the measurement validity of survey instruments in two ways. First, they are useful for contextualizing concepts, making them more comparable across space and time. Second, they are essential for operationalizing phenomena whose meaning is constituted via social processes. To demonstrate the utility of focus groups for survey work, the research note relies on existing empirical studies. Overall, it demonstrates the utility of an integrative, mixed-methods approach for conceptualization and measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-913
Number of pages17
JournalQuality and Quantity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019


  • Concepts
  • Contextualized comparison
  • Focus groups
  • Integrative mixed-methods
  • Measurement
  • Measurement validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Social Sciences(all)


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