Discussion Groups

A group of concerned people sit down and have a long talk about an issue.

Sample Size

High quality deliberation is not feasible with groups larger than about 24. A large group may be partitioned into groups of 12-24 random participants to allow a large group of participants to deliberate effectively.



  • Encourages serious deliberation


  • Due to selection bias, cannot represent the views of the whole population.
  • Participants may be more similar to each other than in a random sample resulting in poor quality deliberation.
  • Tends to exclude disinterested people who may be best prepared to weigh the issue without bias.