Doing Q Methodological Research: Theory, Method & Interpretation

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SAGE, Mar 19, 2012 - Reference - 248 pages

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.


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the inverted factor technique
from Stephenson to constructionism
SECTION 2 Method
research questions and Q sets
participants materials and procedure
factor extraction
factor rotation and the preparation of factor arrays
SECTION 3 Interpretation
7 Factor interpretation
8 Writing and publishing Q methodological papers

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About the author (2012)

Simon Watts is PGR Training Coordinator and Deputy Head of the Graduate School in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of East Anglia, UK. He is responsible for organizing all the research, professional development, and advanced training programs for PGR students within the faculty and teaches extensively on these programs. He primarily publishes instructional papers in the area of research methodology/skills, is particularly well known for his work with Q methodology, and is lead author of the Sage publication ‘Doing Q methodological research: Theory, method, and interpretation’ (co-authored with Professor Paul Stenner at the Open University). Simon’s various book and journal publications have been cited in excess of 2000 times since 2012.

Paul Stenner is Professor of Social Psychology at The Open University, UK. He completed his PhD at the University of Reading, UK, and has held posts at the University of Brighton, University College London, University of Bath, and the University of East London. He works with process approaches to psychosocial issues. He has published work in numerous fields including the emotions, human rights, quality of life, and active ageing. With Simon Watts, he is the author of Doing Q Methodological Research: Theory, Method and Interpretation (SAGE, 2012). He has published 25 peer-reviewed articles using, or about, Q methodology and numerous book chapters, including Q methodology (Stenner, Watts, & Worrell, 2017) and The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology, Second Edition (Willig & Stainton Rogers, Eds., 2017).

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