Yang, Yang (2016). A brief introduction to Q methodology. International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology, 7(2), 42-53. (doi: 10.4018/IJAVET.2016040104)

Abstract: Q methodology is a method to systematically study subjective matters such as thoughts and beliefs on any given topic. Q methodology can be used for both theory building and theory testing. The purpose of this paper was to give a brief overview of Q methodology to readers with various backgrounds. This paper discussed several advantages of Q methodology that makes it attractive to researchers and practitioners who are interested in understanding different perspectives or behavioral patterns toward any given topic, its distinct position as a methodology, and how it fits into the qualitative—mixed—quantitative continuum. The paper further used two research studies as applications to demonstrate how to perform a Q methodological study, involving the following steps: development of the Q sort statements, selection of the P set (participants), Q sorting, and analysis and interpretation of Q sorts.

Yang Yang <yyang001@ksu.edu> is in the Department of Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (USA).

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