Research Respondent FAQs

1. Why was I contacted to participate in a research study? 
Depending on the type of research, contact may be made through random calling, a client list, or a referral. If you are interested in participating in future research, you can sign up to be added to our database and our interviewers will contact you.

2. What is a focus group?
A focus group consists of eight to ten participants who are led by a moderator in a discussion of a particular topic, such as advertising or a public issue. These discussion groups are strictly for research purposes, and your identity will remain confidential.

3. Will they try to sell us anything in the focus group? 
You will definitely not be asked to purchase anything. You will be asked for your opinions and experiences with products or services, but you will never be asked to purchase any item. We believe such practice is not only unethical and contrary to our mission but also represents a conflict of interest. We want people to know that “sugging” or selling under the guise of research is illegal.

4. If I am registered on the Do-Not-Call List, can I still be contacted by market research companies?
Yes. Congress specifically exempted research from the recent laws to regulate the telemarketing industry, including the Do-Not-Call List, because they recognized the value of research services. For more information, please visit the government’s National Do-Not-Call List website at

5. What is the difference between telemarketing and marketing research?
Telemarketers are trying to sell you something, whereas legitimate market researchers only want to ask your opinion. There are several ways to reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive. For more information, please visit the Marketing Research Association’s website at

6. Will anyone recontact me to sell me anything? 
No, you will never be contacted after a group to purchase anything. You may receive a follow-up call to verify an interviewer’s work in a continuing effort to provide outstanding customer service.

7. Are my comments confidential? 
Yes. We follow market research ethical standards and take care to protect the privacy of our research participants. All your opinions are strictly confidential, and your comments will not be attributed to you personally. 

8. Who sponsors the research? 
Sometimes our interviewers are able to disclose which company or organization is sponsoring a research project, but often the client’s identity is not disclosed until the project is over in order to avoid bias in our respondents' opinions.

9. How long does a group discussion or interview last? 
Typically, a focus group discussion will last approximately 1½ to 2 hours. Individual interviews vary. If you agree to participate, be sure you understand exactly when you will need to be available. It is very important that we know the exact number of people who will attend. Therefore, if you are unable to attend for any reason, please contact our office as soon as possible.

10. Why are research groups or interviews audio or video taped?
Almost all groups or interviews are audio taped to allow researchers to review the information when they write the research findings. If a session is recorded, the researcher will always inform you beforehand.