Doing Q Methodological Research
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Doing Q Methodological Research

Theory, Method & Interpretation



© 2012 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
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This book is a simple yet thorough introduction to Q methodology, a research technique designed to capture the subjective or first-person viewpoints of its participants. Watts and Stenner outline the key theoretical concepts developed by William Stephenson, the founder of Q methodology, including subjectivity, concourse theory and abduction. They then turn to the practicalities of delivering high quality Q methodological research.

Using worked examples throughout, the reader is guided through:

• important design issues

• the conduct of fieldwork

• all the analytic processes of Q methodology, including factor extraction, factor rotation and factor interpretation.

Drawing on helpful conceptual introductions to potentially difficult statistical concepts and a step-by-step guide to running Q methodological analyses using dedicated software, this book enables interested readers to design, manage, analyse, interpret and publish their own Q methodological research.

PART ONE: THEORY
Introducing Q Methodology: The Inverted-Factor Technique
Theory and Q Methodology: From Stephenson to Constructionism
PART TWO: METHOD
Basic Design Issues: Research Questions and Q Sets
Doing the Fieldwork: Participants, Materials and Procedure
Understanding the Analytic Process (1): Factor Extraction
Understanding the Analytic Process (2): Factor Rotation and the Preparation of Factor Arrays
PART THREE: INTERPRETATION
Factor Interpretation
Writing and Publishing Q Methodological Papers
Appendices
General Instructions for Completing a Q Methodological Study  
Conducting an Analysis Using PQ Method: A Step-by-step Guide (plus an explanation of the PQ Method output or .lis file  
First Draft Crib Sheets (for study factors 2, 3, 4 and 5)  

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One


 

According to the Q community this is' the book which they have been waiting for. To date, there lacked a book in which the simple and robust method is introduced. As a teacher and researcher, I am glad Watts and Stenner fill this gap with their book.[...]The content of Doing Q methodological research is divided into three parts, respectively into theory, method and interpretation. The book is peppered with examples and case studies and the authors give advice on very practical matters, such as conducting fieldwork, working with the participants and conducting good data management.

Susan Jedeloo
KWALON Journal

This is a comprehensive, clear, ‘one-stop start’ to the method with some very useful chapter summaries and appendices. [...]Together with the all-important recommended free software package for the data analysis if you were thinking of taking this approach this would be a good place to begin.

Dr Ron Iphofen,
Independent research consultant

This is the book the Q community has been waiting for! Aspirational Q researchers will find it a comprehensive, balanced and thorough guide, taking them systematically from refining their research question(s) to publishing their first Q methodological study
Wendy Stainton Rogers
Professor Emerita, The Open University


Watts and Stenner's fresh, comprehensive introduction to Q methodology factor analysis and interpretation is consistently sensitive to the less-experienced researcher's need for clear explanations and extensive supporting details. All Q researchers will value its range of practical tips and elaboration of important concepts
Amanda Wolf, Editor, Operant Subjectivity: The International Journal of Q Methodology



Q methodology won't necessarily be employed by many people in their early research efforts, but for those adventurous enough to give it a try, this book is invaluable. It's very readable, clear and comprehensive. I don't know of any other book on the topic that falls into this same "one stop reading" category.

Mr Bill Green
Secondary Education, Wolverhampton University
April 2, 2015

This is an excellent book that is much needed with regards to this particular methodology. I teach Q methodology here at the University of Worcester and this book will now be our core text.

Dr Derek Farrell
Department of Psychology, Worcester University
October 1, 2014

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