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Doing Q Methodological Research

Doing Q Methodological Research
Theory, Method & Interpretation

March 2012 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book introduces the theory and practice of Q methodology. The authors explain the origins of Q methodology in factor analysis and the R methodological procedures, and go on to explain the theory behind Q as set out by the method's early pioneers. They also look at how Q deals with issues such as subjectivity, abduction and constructivism. The book shows readers how to set up, run, and analyze an effective study using Q methodology. Illustrated with examples and case studies throughout, the book offers advice on highly practical issues such as the conduct of fieldwork, working with participants, and good data management.
Introducing Q Methodology: The Inverted-Factor Technique
Theory and Q Methodology: From Stephenson to Constructionism
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
Factor Interpretation
Writing and Publishing Q Methodological Papers
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)


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


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

A lovely introduction to Q methodology which is not commonly taught across UG programmes of study. Is helpfully illustrated with examples and case studies.

Mrs Sarah McNamara
Dept Nursing & Primary Care Practice, Liverpool John Moores University
April 25, 2024

The book is very clear and concise, plus it is fun to read. It is written in a way which provides the theoretical background first and then builds on the practical guidance.

Dr Robin Bell
Worcester Business School, Worcester University
April 1, 2016

A comprehensive book detailing the essentials of Q methodology for novice researchers in the field and also for those with more advanced qualitative researching skills wanting to update their knowledge and skill set in Q methodology. An easy to follow read for undergraduates students.

Miss Rebecca Healey
School of Social Sciences and Law, University of Teesside
November 25, 2015

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

THis is a fantastic book, absolutely essential to anyone considering doing Q methods based research. there are almost no training courses available in this method, but with this book I felt confidant in undertaking research in this adn will use it as a tool for training my students

Dr Kirsty Kiezebrink
Public Helath Nutrition, Aberdeen University
April 30, 2014

This is the best text I have read on the subject of Q methodology, both at an introductory level and for researchers wanting to shape their craft.

Mr Kieran Balloo
Department of Psychology, Roehampton Univ.
March 27, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Simon Watts

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... More About Author

Paul Stenner

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... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781849204156

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