The virtual Q conference 2020 took place 9th -13th November 2020.

All sessions were free to attend under the registration. There were five sessions, details on each are provided below. Timings for each session in the registration link are in UK (GMT) time, you can check your local time zone.

Monday – 9th November, 10-11:30am EST/3-4:30pm GMT
‘In Conversation with Professor Steven Brown’

Professor Steven R. Brown has established himself as a preeminent scholar and expert in Q methodology. His book, Political Subjectivity, as well as his scores of articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, etc., have been foundational to the understanding of countless Q scholars. Brown has also supervised numerous Q dissertations, helped to found ISSSS and Operant Subjectivity, and maintains the Q-LISTSERV.

In this session, Professor Brown covered questions posed by two of his former students, Professor Dan Thomas and Professor Jim Rhoads. Thomas and Rhoads engaged Brown in issues both fundamental to Q as well as more advanced theoretical issues. There was also an opportunity for attendees to pose questions to Professor Brown.

Tuesday – 10th November, 2-3pm EST/7-8pm GMT
An introduction to online Q sorting

Online Q sorting is becoming an increasingly common way to collect data for Q methodology studies.  In this session we provided an introduction to the types of software that are available and helpful hints and tips for the development and set up of online Q sorts.  

The session was led by Dr Sue Ramlo and Dr Brandy Walker who have extensive experience of online Q sorting.

Wednesday – 11th November, 10am-1pm EST/3-6pm GMT  (1/2 day)
Doing a Dissertation Using Q Method (Workshop)

This session was intended for doctoral students that are interested in conducting a Q study as their dissertation or thesis research.  The session discussed why use Q methodology and ways to justify the use of the method.  The session discussed how to gain support of a dissertation committee and explain the methodology to a committee that has limited experience with Q.  This training session discussed the sections of a dissertation proposal, common questions asked about the methodology by committee members, and how a graduate student can address those questions.  Participants in the session were provided an opportunity to ask questions concerning their own dissertations.  The session ended with two examples of dissertation proposal defences that used Q methodology. Participants were provided with a PowerPoint template for a dissertation proposal defence.  The facilitators can be reach via email James ( and Michelle ( 

Thursday – 12th November 12-1pm EST/5-6pm GMT
ISSSS Business Meeting
Friday -13th November, 10-11am EST/3-4pm GMT
Longitudinal Q studies

This session covered the methodological and practical considerations in the administration of Q sorts across an extended time period.  The session drew on 2 practical examples as a starting point for discussion.

The first was ‘The Constitution in the Public Mind Across Time’ (Dr Larry Bass). To examine the place of the Constitution in the public mind and see how this has changed over time, in the early and mid 1970’s several hundred persons were given a 60 item Constitution Q sort.  Approximately 10 years later, 70 of the persons from the previous study agreed to do the same Q sort again. Currently, over 40+ years since the first study, about a dozen or so of persons from the original study – who had also participated in the second study — are being interviewed.

The second was ‘Revisiting student writer apprehension: A new interpretation of the Riffe and Stack’s Writing Apprehension Measure (Dr Mark Popovich)’. Data from the Pre- and Post-Class Q sorts were compared to assess the impact of the class on student attitudes toward writing.