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Workshop on Q methodology Midwestern Educational Research Association St. Louis, MO 8 – 9:20 AM October 25, 2007 Sue Ramlo Joe Jurczyk.

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Presentation on theme: "Workshop on Q methodology Midwestern Educational Research Association St. Louis, MO 8 – 9:20 AM October 25, 2007 Sue Ramlo Joe Jurczyk."— Presentation transcript:

1 Workshop on Q methodology Midwestern Educational Research Association St. Louis, MO 8 – 9:20 AM October 25, 2007 Sue Ramlo Joe Jurczyk

2 About the presenters: Sue Ramlo, PhD Sue Ramlo, PhD Physicist w/ PhD in Curricular & Instructional Studies Physicist w/ PhD in Curricular & Instructional Studies Presentations of Q studies Presentations of Q studies Published Q studies Published Q studies Editorial board of both Q journals (English) Editorial board of both Q journals (English) Operant SubjectivityOperant Subjectivity Human SubjectivityHuman Subjectivity Previous Q workshop developer Previous Q workshop developer Joe Jurczyk Joe Jurczyk Systems Engineer w/ MBA & ABD in C&I Dissertation – developing & evaluating a versatile on-line Q-sort tool Presentations of Q studies Previous Q workshop presenter

3 Workshop Outline Introduction to Q methodology Introduction to Q methodology Sorting items onto a normal Gaussian distribution Sorting items onto a normal Gaussian distribution Concourse of items & the Q sample Concourse of items & the Q sample Analyzing the sorts using PQ Method – factors & interpretation Analyzing the sorts using PQ Method – factors & interpretation Why groups of people? Why groups of people? Examples of Q studies Examples of Q studies

4 Introduction to Q methodology - Overview Investigate the views, or perspectives, of a person or a group of people. Investigate the views, or perspectives, of a person or a group of people. Process involves: Process involves: Creating a concourse of items (text, sounds, pictures). Creating a concourse of items (text, sounds, pictures). Sorting a sample of the items into a normal Gaussian distribution. Sorting a sample of the items into a normal Gaussian distribution. Sorts are factor analysized to group people with similar sorts (Note: R FA groups items). Sorts are factor analysized to group people with similar sorts (Note: R FA groups items).

5 Sorting items onto a normal Gaussian distribution Pre-sort into 3 piles Pre-sort into 3 piles Distribute (& re- distribute) to fit specific normal Gaussian distribution. Distribute (& re- distribute) to fit specific normal Gaussian distribution. Most UNlike my view (~14 statements here) MOST like my view (~14 statements here) Neutral view about this statement (~14 statements here)

6 Now you try it! Condition of instruction – Because youve been working so hard, your boss is going to give you a bonus in the form of a one year vehicle lease & he wants your input. In the envelope you have received, there are pictures of a variety of different vehicles. Rate these items on a scale of most desired (+4) to most undesired (-4)…. Condition of instruction – Because youve been working so hard, your boss is going to give you a bonus in the form of a one year vehicle lease & he wants your input. In the envelope you have received, there are pictures of a variety of different vehicles. Rate these items on a scale of most desired (+4) to most undesired (-4)…. Most undesirable (~7 items) MOST desirable (~7 items) Neutral view about this statement (~7 items) Pre-sort into 3 piles Pre-sort into 3 piles Distribute (& re-distribute) to fit specific normal Gaussian distribution. Distribute (& re-distribute) to fit specific normal Gaussian distribution.

7 Introduction to Q methodology – historical background Developed in 1935 by William Stephenson Developed in 1935 by William Stephenson Physicist-psychologist Physicist-psychologist Student of Spearman Student of Spearman A Study of Behavior, 1955 A Study of Behavior, 1955 Q for Quantum Q for Quantum Most typically used in fields of psychology, marketing, advertising, political science… Most typically used in fields of psychology, marketing, advertising, political science… Mixes quantitative & qualitative aspects of research Mixes quantitative & qualitative aspects of research

8 Why not another method to determine views? Alternatives for determining perspectives are not as powerful as Q (McKeown, 2001). Alternatives for determining perspectives are not as powerful as Q (McKeown, 2001). Likert scale evaluations and rank ordering lead to the loss of meaning (McKeown, 2001) – e.g. aggregate results Likert scale evaluations and rank ordering lead to the loss of meaning (McKeown, 2001) – e.g. aggregate results Because Q measures personal opinion regarding a concourse of items related to a topic, validity is not a consideration (Brown, 1999). Because Q measures personal opinion regarding a concourse of items related to a topic, validity is not a consideration (Brown, 1999).

9 What is meant by subjectivity? What do you see? Bunny? Duck? What do you see? Bunny? Duck? Is one right & the other wrong or are they both just different views? Is one right & the other wrong or are they both just different views?

10 Any Q study starts with a concourse: Can consist of words / statements, pictures, sounds, smells… Can consist of words / statements, pictures, sounds, smells… Subjective Subjective Not Its raining Not Its raining But can be the rain makes me feel sad –or- I love to walk in the rain. But can be the rain makes me feel sad –or- I love to walk in the rain. Items are interpreted by participant – removes the view of the researcher & the issue of validity / reliability. Items are interpreted by participant – removes the view of the researcher & the issue of validity / reliability. Select the Q sample from the concourse Select the Q sample from the concourse Try to balance the Q sample Try to balance the Q sample Sample needs to be sufficiently large {sample size here is the number of items, not the number of people in the study} Sample needs to be sufficiently large {sample size here is the number of items, not the number of people in the study}

11 Concourse of items – 3 possibilities Naturalistic statements - taken from participants oral or written communications. Naturalistic statements - taken from participants oral or written communications. Interviews Interviews Focus Groups Focus Groups Ready made statements - from sources other than those of the participants communications. Ready made statements - from sources other than those of the participants communications. Likert survey items Likert survey items Based on knowledge of researcher w/o interviews Based on knowledge of researcher w/o interviews Hybrid - combine both naturalistic and ready made items. Hybrid - combine both naturalistic and ready made items. One is not inherently superior to the other (McKeown & Thomas, 1988). One is not inherently superior to the other (McKeown & Thomas, 1988). Researcher selects the type best suited to the project at hand Researcher selects the type best suited to the project at hand

12 Q sample – select items from the concourse to use in the study. Example: Selection from a Q sample of 44 (chosen from a concourse of 74) Example: Selection from a Q sample of 44 (chosen from a concourse of 74)

13 Condition of instruction Participants sort based upon a condition of instruction (or multiple conditions). Participants sort based upon a condition of instruction (or multiple conditions). E.g. Sort the following statements as they relate to your views about learning in this class. E.g. Sort the following statements as they relate to your views about learning in this class. The statements are matters of subjective opinion and may mean different things to different people. The statements are matters of subjective opinion and may mean different things to different people. Meaning is determined by sorter, not researcher Meaning is determined by sorter, not researcher Reason why validity is not a consideration Reason why validity is not a consideration e.g. I worked hard in this class. e.g. I worked hard in this class.

14 Analyzing Q sorts SPSS & SAS not really designed for Q sorts – you mess with weightings, etc. SPSS & SAS not really designed for Q sorts – you mess with weightings, etc. Need software designed for Q methodology Need software designed for Q methodology PCQ PCQ PQMethod PQMethod QUANAL QUANAL

15 Factor Analysis Higher order correlation Higher order correlation Used to determine patterns in a data set Used to determine patterns in a data set R-factor analysis groups items (people are rows, items are in columns). Factors represent similar items. Objective. R-factor analysis groups items (people are rows, items are in columns). Factors represent similar items. Objective. Q-factor analysis groups people (people are in columns, items are in rows). The factors represent people with similar topologies. Objective Q-factor analysis groups people (people are in columns, items are in rows). The factors represent people with similar topologies. Objective Q methodology is not Q FA but does group people based upon their VIEWS on a subject. Factors represent similar views about a topic. Subjective. Q methodology is not Q FA but does group people based upon their VIEWS on a subject. Factors represent similar views about a topic. Subjective.

16 PQ Method to determine factors & assist in their interpretation PQMethod PQMethod Free download (start at Free download (start at DOS based DOS based Designed for handling Q sort entry and analyses Designed for handling Q sort entry and analyses Choices Choices Centroid versus Principal Components factor extraction Centroid versus Principal Components factor extraction Graphical hand rotation versus Varimax Graphical hand rotation versus Varimax Start PQMethod Start PQMethod Start PQMethod Start PQMethod

17 PQMethod Analyses Creates print out with: Creates print out with: Factor loadings Factor loadings Factor correlations Factor correlations Distinguishing statements Distinguishing statements Consensus statements, etc Consensus statements, etc Example - knowledge Tech Physics sorts Ramlo 2006.lis. Example - knowledge Tech Physics sorts Ramlo 2006.lis. Example - knowledge Tech Physics sorts Ramlo 2006.lis Example - knowledge Tech Physics sorts Ramlo 2006.lis

18 Results Different factors represent the various views within the P-set Different factors represent the various views within the P-set More democratic, not simply majority wins More democratic, not simply majority wins Allows further investigation (linear regression, etc) especially if groups not known a priori Allows further investigation (linear regression, etc) especially if groups not known a priori Consensus allows researcher to see where there is agreement Consensus allows researcher to see where there is agreement Organizational change theory Organizational change theory

19 For more on Q methodology: I4S – International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity; Next conference in Hamilton, ON; Sept/Oct I4S – International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity; Next conference in Hamilton, ON; Sept/Oct Brown, S. R. (1980). Political subjectivity: Applications of Q methodology in political science. New Haven: Yale University Press. Brown, S. R. (1980). Political subjectivity: Applications of Q methodology in political science. New Haven: Yale University Press. McKeown, B., & Thomas, D. (1988). Q methodology. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications. McKeown, B., & Thomas, D. (1988). Q methodology. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications. Stephenson, W. (1955). The study of behavior: Q- technique and its methodology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Stephenson, W. (1955). The study of behavior: Q- technique and its methodology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


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