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Q Methodology Charles C. Sule M.A.Sc. Ph.D. Candidate - Environmental Applied Science & Management.

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Presentation on theme: "Q Methodology Charles C. Sule M.A.Sc. Ph.D. Candidate - Environmental Applied Science & Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 Q Methodology Charles C. Sule M.A.Sc. Ph.D. Candidate - Environmental Applied Science & Management

2 Presentation Overview  Origins and history of Q Method  Differences between ‘Q’ and ‘R’ methods and the q-sort  What Q means by ‘subjectivity’  Participant and sample selection  Data analysis with PQMethod  Factor interpretation  Summary  Questions

3 Origins of Q Methodology  Conceived by William Stephenson (pictured), who had Ph.D.s in both physics and psychology  Assistant to Charles Spearman, pioneer of factor analysis  ‘Technique of factor analysis.’ Nature, 1935, 136(3434), p.297

4 Q Sort  Typically statements written on cards  ‘Forced distribution’ to a standard curve

5 Persons ‘R’ Methods  Simple data matrix  Pearson’s ‘r’  r = 0.80 r = r = 0.00 Variables 1234m a ax1ax2ax3ax4axm b bx1bx2bx3bx4bxm c cx1cx2cx3cx4cxm d dx1dx2dx3dx4dxm n nx1nx2nx3nx4nxm

6 Operant Subjectivity  According to Watts (2011: 39) an ‘operant’ behaviour possesses two qualities: 1. an operant is produced and emitted naturally, without need for special training or any other form of artificial induction. 2. an operant is defined by the relationship it establishes with, and the impact it makes upon, the immediate environment.

7 Operant Subjectivity  Subjectivity is NOT some part of our consciousness  “It is not ‘inside’ us” (Watts, 2011: 39), Q is not a kind of phenomenological account  An expression of operant subjectivity can be recorded in a ‘Q-sort’

8 Q Method  Participants are called the ‘p-set’ Who are they? How many?  Statement sample is called the ‘q-set’ Concourse theory – the ‘universe’ of possible statements Select a representative sample from the concourse – the q-set

9 Q Method

10 Factor extraction

11 Factor rotation

12 Factor scores

13 Factor interpretation Factor Scores -- For Factor 1 # Statement Z-SCORES 3 Organic is beneficial to biodiversity Org farming returns material to the soil For org to be fair, animals need well-being Fertilizers shall not harm the environment Eating food grown in a particular way No consistent scientific evidence of better nutrition Animal health on org not necessarily better No nutritional differences between org and conv There are no safety differences between org and conv An animal has good welfare if not diseased or ill

14 Q-Summary  Measures expressions of subjectivity  Suited to exploratory, small n studies  Q-bie, q-munity…  Kent State listserv just turned 22!

15 References  Stephenson, W. (1935). Correlating persons instead of tests. Journal of Personality, 4(1), 17–24.  Watts, S. (2011). Subjectivity as operant: a conceptual exploration and discussion. Operant Subjectivity, 35(1): 37–47.  Watts, S. & Stenner, P. (2012). Doing Q methodological research: theory, method and interpretation. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd.


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