Stephenson Award 2023 goes to Amanda Wolf

The ISSSS’s highest honor is named for William Stephenson, the man who created Q and who spent his life developing and shaping Q Methodology theory and practice to advance the study of human subjectivity.

The William Stephenson Award is presented to that individual who demonstrates a life-long passion and commitment to carry on the work of Dr. Stephenson, both inside and outside of the ISSSS community, and is dedicated to Q Methodology research, including both applications and theoretical perspectives.

In 2023, the William Stephenson Award was presented to Amanda Wolf in recognition of her invaluable contribution and commitment to the ISSSS community and Q Methodology research.

Although Amanda could not attend the Q conference 2023 to receive the award personally, she graciously shared her thoughts and gratitude during a heartfelt speech that was translated during the conference. You can watch her acceptance speech below:

Meet the new I4S Executive Committee!

We are happy to announce the freshly elected I4S Executive Committee, officially revealed yesterday at the Q conference 2023. Thank you to all our members for actively participating in the vote! All positions are for 3 years and, except in the case of the president, are renewable.


Helen Mason

Helen Mason is Professor of Health Economics at Glasgow Caledonian University. Over the past 20 years Q methodology has enabled her to address her research topic of interest, to understand the views of the general public and patients on various aspects related to the provision of health care. This has led to publications in a range of clinical, health policy and health economics journals as well as in Operant Subjectivity. This research has been supported by a number of competitive research grants from major funders including the Economic and Social Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research in the UK and the European Commission.

Helen joined ISSSS in 2006 and since 2017 she has had two terms as ISSSS Vice President. During this period, she has led the annual Q Methodology conference. In 2020 she organized the online conference at a time when we were unable to meet in person. The conference that year was attended by over 100 people and opened up ISSSS and Q methodology to a new audience.

She actively tries to help promote the knowledge and use of Q methodology. Along with colleagues at GCU, she has developed an Introduction to Q Methodology workshop which has run for the past 5 years with participants from across the world.

Since 2023 she is the I4S President. Building on the work of the previous executive, her priorities for 2023-2026 are to: identify opportunities to expand the ISSSS membership, look at new ways to encourage participation at the annual conference, and to support the work of the editorial team of Operant Subjectivity.


Stéphanie Gauttier

Stéphanie Gauttier is Associate Professor in Information Systems at Grenoble Ecole de Management and “Information Systems for Society” Research Team Leader . She has served on the I4S executive committee as secretary since 2020 and received the Brenner award in 2019 for work on Q and phenomenology. Stéphanie has been a regular I4S conference attendee, with presentations in Ancona, Glasgow, Naples, Nantes, Charlotte, and Orlando. She took part in the organization of the 2021 virtual Nantes conference.  

Stéphanie has been the first to defend a PhD thesis featuring Q methodology in France. Since then, she has gotten several grants with methodologies based on applications of Q, published several journal papers with Q and grown the French Q community by involving DBA and masters’ students in Q-studies.

As a vice-president, Stéphanie aims to contribute actively to the life of the society, revive events such as T and Q, and take actions for the continuous involvement of early career researchers in the society.


Elizabeth Anne Albright

Elizabeth Albright is currently the chair of the Psychology Department at Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma, USA.  She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Oklahoma State University.  Her first Q Conference was in 2014, at Salt Lake City and she knew from that moment on that the I4S community was her family.  She has learned from everyone who has presented and been involved with I4S.  She has published Q studies in Operant Subjectivity and Roeper Review, and she has presented several times over the years since 2014 at the Q Conferences. Occasionally, she is given the opportunity to answer questions and support up and coming Q researchers.  She is excited about to be involved in the Executive Committee of the I4S society.


Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson, Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi (1996), is a Professor in the School of Communications at Brigham Young University where he teaches advertising, and specializes in advertising principles, campaigns, account planning, media, and strategy. He has published over 20 academic articles using Q methodology in various areas, including the portrayal of older individuals in advertising and the media, advertising messaging, social media, and popular culture. Tom has been an active member of ISSSS since 1998 when was introduced to Q methodology by Mark Popovich. He attended and presented at his first Q conference in 2001 held at Ball State University, and in 2014, with his colleague Clark Callahan had the great honor of hosting the Q conference’s 30th anniversary in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Susan Ramlo

Susan Ramlo is entering her 30th year as a tenured professor at the University of Akron and, previously, spent seven years as an industrial physicist. She has been enjoying using, reading, and reflecting on Q methodology for twenty years. Within I4S, She has been conference host, vice president, president, past president, and advisor. She is excited to continue her work in the advisor role. She aims to promote Q methodology in new ways such as ZoomQ. She has been a regular conference workshop presenter at I4S conferences and have a YouTube channel committed to both physics and Q videos ( Her research consulting firm is SueZ Q, LLC (

Zoom Q Community at the Q Conference 2023

The Q Methodology 2023 Conference brought together researchers, scholars, and enthusiasts from around the world, including the dynamic Zoom Q community. This year, Miku Lenentine, Renata Alian, Stephanie Marder, and Seth Harkins from the community captivated our audience with a standout presentation “A Study of Us: Lived Subjectivity”.

“From the Zoom Q community, we express gratitude to Mike Stricklin. His participation and unwavering engagement play a pivotal role in our commitment to advancing the Zoom Q seminar and fostering a vibrant community of Q Methodology enthusiasts.

If you’re eager to be part of this enriching experience, don’t forget that our Zoom Q Seminar takes place every Monday at 4 p.m. EST. It’s an excellent opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and explore the possibilities of Q Methodology.

Questions or inquiries? Reach out to us at Join us on this exciting journey of discovery and exploration!”

Meet the new I4S logo!

We are finally thrilled to announce the new I4S logo! Congratulations Tara Marie Mortensen from the University of South Carolina whose logo stood out among 54 unique designs from 11 participants!

A heartfelt thank you to all the participants for their incredible contributions and vivid interest in the society. Stay tuned for the upcoming rebranding of our website.

Dennis Kinsey – Keynote speaker at the 2023 Q Conference

We are delighted that Dennis Kinsey Ph.D will be the Keynote speaker at the 2023 Q Methodology Conference. Dr Kinsey will present on “The Q-Methodological Journey: From First Study to Becoming a Q Mentor”.

Dennis F. Kinsey (Ph.D. Stanford University) is Professor of Public Relations, and Director of the Public Diplomacy and Global Communications program at Syracuse University. He is co-editor of the book, International Public Relations and Public Diplomacy: Communication and Engagement. Kinsey has published in Corporate Reputation Review, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Human Subjectivity, Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, Journalism Educator, Exchange: The journal of public diplomacy, Operant Subjectivity, Political Communication, Political Psychology, Public Relations Review and Visual Communication Quarterly.

Kinsey teaches public relations research methods, public relations campaigns, public relations presentations and public diplomacy. He has conducted ov

Sudau Manuel Matthias: testimony from a speaker of the Q conference 2021 in Orlando

“I studied economic geography and social sciences and since 2015 I am a lecturer, research assistant and PhD student at the chair PLUS, at the Institute of Spatial and Landscape Development at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. I teach in the fields of spatial planning, environmental planning, GIS, site and project development, in various interdisciplinary project works and I supervise BSc and MSc theses. As a teaching specialist, I am also responsible for the coordination and development of the teaching activities at our chair and support the development of the study programs Spatial Engineering (BSc) and Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems (MSc) at our department. Besides, I am working on my dissertation about acceptance of spatial planning policies for the management of soil resources, which I have almost finished. Engaging in teaching and teaching development is of particular interest to me, as I believe it is especially important to educate young and talented researchers so that we can join forces and tackle our global challenges posed by the changing climate.”

Sudau Manuel Matthias, a PhD student, lecturer and research assistant at the Institute of Spatial and Landscape Development at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, applied Q methodology to investigate and characterize the subjective rationales for the acceptance or rejection of different spatial planning instruments*. He proved that although Q methodology naturally shows its strength in small P-sets, it can also be very efficient on large P-sets. In this interview, he explains his choice of the method, share his feelings about his experience with the method and the Q conference 2021.

How did you get started on your first Q study ?

Together with my colleagues Dr. Enrico Celio and Prof. Dr. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey, we were looking for a method to investigate and characterize the subjective rationales for the acceptance or rejection of different spatial planning instruments among the broad population of our case study area. Since interviews or quantitative surveys were not perfectly suited for this purpose for a variety of reasons, we broadly searched for other methods and quickly came across the work of William Stephenson, Steven Brown, Thomas Webler and Aiora Zabala. We learned the method on the basis of the manifold Q-methodology literature, and in the course of this we also came into contact with Maximilian Held, who helped us with the implementation via the qmethod package for R. In addition, the constructive discussions on the Q-methodology listserv were extremely helpful for some more specific challenges.

What did you enjoy the most in doing Q? What was the most challenging?

“The data evaluation and interpretation was particularly exciting. The idealized Q-sorts of the identified Q-factors allowed us to gain a new perspective on the relevance of different arguments for the acceptability of spatial planning instruments. In retrospect, I think the exploratory design of our Q-study, which consisted of an online survey and “classic” face-to-face interviews, was really exciting as well. We discussed the social perspectives identified in the online survey with participants in our interviews and were able to identify significant differences in the way our study participants reasoned depending on whether they conducted the Q-sorting procedure anonymously or face-to-face. The sheer size of our Q-study as well as its complexity (we analyzed several subsamples) also posed a great challenge, which we could only master with a lot of care and effort.”

In the study you presented in Orlando, you had a big p-sample that you broke down into subgroups, anything you’d like to share about having big p-sets vs small?

“Although Q-methodology naturally shows its strength in small P-sets, there are also some examples of large P-sets, which encouraged us to try this as well. By subsampling, we wanted to safeguard ourselves on the one hand (in case our large P-set would be a problem, we would still have the “normal-sized” samples as well as the more “classical” face-to-face interviews), and on the other hand we had to design a compact online survey so that the willingness to participate (of the broad population and on a rather specific topic) would be as high as possible. In the end, however, we obtained exciting results with the large P-set, which we could only strengthen and even further diversify in our subsamples. We could also think of it the other way around, that we combined several “normal” Q studies into one large P-set. This allowed us to be more responsible with our own researcher subjectivity. Reflecting on our results from the online survey with the interview participants also allowed us to gain further insights. Ultimately, however, there are surely other ways to deal responsibly and self-critically with one’s own subjectivity when evaluating a Q-study (e.g., with regard to the determination of the number of Q-factors).”

In the study you presented in Orlando, you also showed the relevance of theory in light of your q-sample, which was some nice work you did. Care to explain?

“Thank you. We assigned each statement of our Q-set to an acceptance factor derived from the literature. In interpreting our Q-factors, we were also able to identify differences in the importance of individual arguments within an acceptance factor through this assignment. In addition, this “categorization” of the statements of a Q-set also offers advantages when visualizing the results of a Q-study. Especially as newcomers in the Q-community, it was sometimes a bit difficult to comprehend and understand the tables and figures of other Q-studies. It would be quite exciting, for example, to see new and experimental representations of the characteristics of Q-factors in the future, of course, as an additional alternative to the inevitable tables.”

Would you recommend the conference to people new to Q and why?

“During our research with Q-methodology we have found the Q-community to be super helpful, welcoming and friendly, especially through the listserv. The fact that every concern, no matter how small, is always addressed with great sympathy and solved constructively and together, was not only helpful but also motivating. With my participation in the Q-conference 2022 I wanted to “give something back” to this great community and I was of course also curious to meet these inspiring and visionary scientists personally. My expectations were exceeded by far, because the atmosphere on site was simply incredible! All participants had a lot of time, there were countless exciting discussions and it was extremely inspiring to get to know the diverse areas of application of the method. I also enjoyed the fact that an equitable exchange was possible, from students to established professors and across countless research disciplines. I hope I will be able to attend again next year and look forward to seeing familiar and new faces!”

*Manuel Sudau, Enrico Celio & Adrienne Grêt-Regamey (2022) Application of Q-methodology for identifying factors of acceptance of spatial planning instruments, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2022.2043259

Wassim Simouri : first experience with Q methodology

Passionate about all things digital, I am a final-year student at Grenoble Ecole de Management with experience in eCommerce, UX, and IT project management in the food and energy industries. I aspire to work in the management of emerging technologies in the future.

Wassim Simouri, a final-year student at Grenoble Ecole de Management, applied Q methodology to the research question of his dissertation thesis. It was his first experience with the method. In this interview, he explains his choice of the method, share his feelings about this experience and gives advice to other students who would like to use it.

What prompted you to use Q methodology in your thesis?
“Q method is simple, time-saving, and can be entirely done online. Besides, Q was relevant to my research question. I needed a qualitative approach and Q goes even beyond that because it combines at the same time qualitative approach and statistical data analysis. Q method enabled the examination of all perspectives around my research question which, I believe, could have been more difficult if I used another method. Some of my peers who thing to use interviews collected very little data in much more time.”

What did you enjoy most about applying the Q methodology?
“What I liked most about the Q method is its simplicity. The steps to follow are clear which makes your research more time efficient. As a working student, this method made me save time, especially for the data collection which was entirely done online while I was studying or working.

What was the most complicated for you?
“Q is an underused method. Consequently, the courses that we were given did not include any information about it. So, with the help of my tutor, I had to discover a new method, and this also implies reading papers that explains or uses the Q method. There are numerous peer-reviewed papers available that a student can use to discover the method. Then, once understood, the steps are easy to follow.”

In the end, what was the advantage of using this method for your dissertation thesis?
“For me, the main benefit of using the Q method is to produce research that stands out from the rest. Q is still underused in technology research and other fields. If relevant to your research, using Q will enable you to benefit from all the advantages cited before (simplicity, time-saving, collecting data online, combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches) while generating an original study that meets all requirements of research.”

What would you advise students who want to try Q method?
“I invite students to read papers using or explaining the Q method to fully understand its advantages and limitations. If Q is relevant to their research question, they should not hesitate to go for it because it is a simple method that allows them to examine all viewpoints concerning a given problem. They should also not hesitate to communicate with their tutor if he or she is familiar with the methodology. Otherwise, there are videos and papers explaining step-by-step how to do a Q-study.”

Q Bibliography: Fraschini & Park on anxiety among undergraduate student-teachers of Korean as a second language

Fraschini, Nicola, & Hyunjin Park (2022). A Q methodology study to explore Korean as a second language undergraduate student-teachers’ anxiety. International Journal of Educational Research Open, 3, art. 100132. (Open Access:

Abstract: Teaching is an emotionally demanding job, and negative emotions such as anxiety affect teacher practices, identity, and student learning. Therefore, it is essential to consider the emotional challenges student-teachers expect from their future careers. This study explores how a cohort of student-teachers enrolled in a Korean as a Second Language (KSL) teaching undergraduate degree course perceive the emotional challenges of the teaching profession, with a focus on those aspects that are perceived to trigger anxiety. Q methodology was used to collect data from 37 Korean L1 undergraduate students, explore their shared worries and concerns, and inform improvements that can be brought to the undergraduate program under investigation. Results highlighted the presence of four main perspectives. The first perspective is shared by students concerned about lacking experience, skills, and clarity in delivering their teaching. The second perspective characterizes students concerned about poor work-life balance and being under-prepared for their classes. The third perspective represents students worried by the relationship with colleagues and supervisors and by issues of classroom management. The last perspective is shared by students concerned about being underestimated and to lack opportunities to express their creativity. Results are compared with previous research conducted on experienced Korean language teachers and discussed with reference to the Korean educational context. Practical suggestions for integrating emotional and affective components into undergraduate courses in foreign language teaching are provided.

Nicola Fraschini <> is in the School of Social Sciences/Asian Studies, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia. Hyunjin Park <> is in the Department of Korean Language and Literature, Jeonju University, Jeonju-si, South Korea.

Q Bibliography: Rhoades & Brown on Q as a science of subjectivity (book chapter)

Rhoades, Gavin, & Zeta Brown (2019). Q-methodology: A science of subjectivity. In Mike Lambert & Jyothsna Latha Belliappa (Eds.), Practical research methods in education: An early researcher’s critical guide (pp. 88-102, Chap 9). London: Routledge.

Abstract: Q-methodology, or ‘Q’, is a unique, flexible methodology for exploring people’s opinions, perspectives and attitudes. This chapter first discusses Q’s key elements, including the ‘concourse’ of possible attitudes on a topic, the Q-set of statements which participants place on a distribution grid to show agreement or disagreement, and the Q-sort, the completed grid. The chapter then presents a nine-stage process of conducting a Q study, with examples of a grid template, a Q-sort and a set of analysed data, all drawn from the authors’ own Q studies. The use of additional qualitative methods alongside Q is also examined. Key elements of analysis (usually done with computer software) are explained, including ‘forced distribution’, which limits the number of extreme positions which participants can take, and ‘variance’, the overall differences of opinion as expressed across all completed Q-sorts. A former student then reflects on use of Q in her undergraduate dissertation, and the chapter concludes by reviewing in detail analysis and interpretation of data from a recent Q-based evaluation of a project to encourage school students to apply for university.

Gavin Rhoades <> is in the Centre for Developmental and Applied Research (CeDARE) and Zeta Brown <> is in the Education Observatory, Faculty of Education Health & Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, UK.