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What are paired interviews: a case study

Paired interviews is a qualitative research methodology carried out by interviewing simultaneously two people who know each other: it can be a parent and a child, two friends, two colleagues, two people linked by work relationships. The meaning of the interview as a couple is to have, on the same topic, two different but complementary points of view.

It is a middle ground between an in-depth personal interview and a mini focus group.

In particular surveys, according to the topic discussed, it is also possible to carry out trios that pursue the same objectives and take place in the same ways, however involving three people.

Paired interviews: when to use them?

In general, we can say that paired interviews have the aim of investigating decision-making processes in which multiple people are involved; for example, regarding the purchase of a car, it is possible to interview husband and wife or father and son to understand what role each plays in the decision-making process and to what elements each one gives more weight in the choice.

In the field of consumer research, paired interviews are widely used when it is necessary to interview children, that is, when it is necessary to investigate the habits, preferences and consumption of the “junior” target. In these cases, given that – among other things – it is not possible to interview a minor alone, it can be useful for research purposes to interview a parent at the same time.

For example, if you want to conduct research on a type of snack appreciated by children, it may be interesting to collect the opinion of the children who will focus on the taste of the snack and its “playful” aspect, and that of the mother who will be able to focus more on the nutritional aspects or on the packaging or on the price. In this way two complementary points of view on the same topic are investigated simultaneously.


Paired interviews can be carried out at home or in central location.

For example, interviews with patients with reduced mobility and their caregivers can be carried out at home while those with couples of friends or colleagues in a central location.

As in individual in-depth interviews and focus groups, the conversation is stimulated and guided by an expert interviewer / moderator who follows a quite free discussion guide. The answers are recorded so that they can be listened to and examined later, comparing the opinions expressed by the different respondents.

Paired interviews last no less than 90 minutes – generally even 120 minutes – a duration similar to that of a focus group.

TRIO interviews follow the same principles and pursue the same objectives as paired interviews, involving 3 participants.

Duos and trios ultima modifica: 2015-03-11T15:01:15+01:00 da Carmine De Falco