Gabor, Manuela Rozalia, & Nicoleta Cristache (2021). Q or R factor analysis for subjectiveness measurement in consumer behavior? A study case on durable goods buying behavior in Romania. Mathematics, 9(10), art. 1136. (Link: (Open Access:

Abstract: The complexity of consumer behavior requires new research methods to overcome the limitations of conventional evident‐based research. The aim of this paper is the comparison between two types of factor analyses, Q and R (PCA and cluster analysis) for subjectiveness measurement in the case of durable goods buying behavior in Romanian households with different levels of education and occupancy. Our study explores different subjective patterns of stimulus of 30 statements (Q‐sample) by 30 Romanian households (P‐sample) using the Q‐sort method for collecting data. For the Q‐sample inputs, results from the literature were used. Based on the 30 Q‐sorts, we discovered four factors for both Q and R factor analysis, mostly different according to specific results from different methods. For the Q method, we used the labels “pragmatic”, “modern”, “traditionalist”, and “innovator. For R factor analysis and cluster, we used “traditional Romanian brands”, “real needs and power purchasing”, “sceptic versus optimistic subjectiveness”, and “negative subjectiveness”. This paper suggests the Q methodology as a structured and transparent approach to consumer behavior research by combining the in‐depth subjectivity of qualitative methods and statistical rigor of factor analysis to identify groups in consumers. The research provides useful suggestions for selecting and approaching target consumer segments in the Romanian durable goods industry.

Manuela Rozalia Gabor <> is in the Department of Economic Sciences, Faculty of Economics and Law, “George Emil Palade” University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and Technology of Târgu Mures, Târgu Mureș; and Nicoleta Cristache <> is on the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, “Dunărea de Jos” University of Galati, Galati, Romania.

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