2015 Q Conference

The 31st Annual Q Conference will be held in Ancona, Italy from September 14 (pre-conference workshops) to September 17, 2015. On the 18, post-conference tour to Raphael’s museum in Urbino.

The hosts will be Professors Raffaele Zanoli and Simona Naspetti from the Universita Politecnica delle Marche. More information to come!

Phrarach Panyaraksee on expected and actual roles of Thai Buddhist monks

Phrarach Panyaraksee [Veeraves Pacharoen] (2010, June). Expected and actual roles of Thai Buddhist monks affecting adherents’ religiosity [in Thai]. Doctoral dissertation, Pathumthani University (Administration Development), Thailand. 219 pp.

Abstract: The objectives of this research are to study (1) Buddhist adherents’ opinions about the expected and actual roles of Buddhist monks and (2) whether adherents’ satisfaction with Buddhists’ and monks’ mannerisms affects their religiosity. The researcher employed both quantitative and qualitative research methods and Q methodology to analyze adherents’ concept of religiosity. An in-depth interview of five adherents was initially used to obtain the adherents’ conceptualization of all the variables used in the study and the findings were used to develop a questionnaire to be pretested, modified, and used to collect data from 1,004 Buddhist adherents in Bangkok. Structural equation modeling was employed to analyze the conceptual framework, using a LISREL software program. For Q methodology, the concourse provided the basis for a Q sample of 34 statements, which were ranked by 30 Buddhist adherents and later analyzed by the PQMethod program.
It was found that adherents expected monks to have a good secular and moral education, to observe strict religious precepts, and to be kind to humankind. The actual roles included religious propagation through the mass media, persuading people to donate to help those in trouble, creating auspicious items to raise temple-support earnings, promoting moral teachings in schools, praying and meditating, and constructing large and magnificent permanent religious artifacts. The reported improper roles of monks included various activities considered inappropriate, such as illegal activities, shopping in department stores, participating in political activities, fixed standing to obtain people’s “merit-making,” earning from tattooing and lottery-number guessing, and alcohol consumption. [Making merit in Thai Buddhism refers to doing good things, such as providing food for monks, praying, and engaging in other activities that bring merit to the donor.]
With respect to satisfaction with monks’ behavior, adherents expressed this through the praising of monks, indicating their willingness to serve them in time of need, observing religious precepts, making merit with the monks, doing anything to protect and support religious activities, and being a religious person.
Regarding the use of Q methodology to study the concept of religiosity, the patterns of adherents’ religiosity consisted of four categories (factors): observing the principle codes, having faith in religious principles, studying and observing the precepts, and protecting Buddhism.
Quantitative data analysis also showed that adherents’ religiosity was influenced both directly and indirectly by their biosocial characteristics and their expected roles of Buddhist monks, more than by the actual behavior of certain monks that indirectly influenced adherents’ religiosity.
Consequently, it was recommended that the Synod Council of the National Buddhism Bureau for monk administration make policies and take measures to improve monks’ roles and render them consistent with adherent’ expectations and Buddhist precepts.

Phrarach Panyaraksee is the royal title of the author, whose given name is Veeraves Pacharoen. He is a high-ranking Buddhist monk in Thailand. His co-advisors were Suchart Prasith-rathsint and Kanikar Sookasame of Pathumthani University. Other members of the examining committee included Sundat Sermsri (Mahidol University), Prasarn Boonsopart (Ramkhamhaeng University), and Palapan Kumpan (National Institute of Development Administration). Dr Sookasame is co-author (with Sasitorn Suwannathep) of Variety of innovative research methods: Q methodology: A scientific study of subjectivity (concepts, theory and application) [Thai] (Bangkok: Samlada Publishing, 2007). Phrarach Panyaraksee is the author of a forthcoming Q study to appear (in Thai) in the Journal of Administration Development Research.

Q Methodology’s 75th Birthday

On June 28, 1935, William Stephenson penned the following letter to the Editor of the British science journal Nature, thus initiating the development that has come to be known as Q methodology. The letter eventually appeared in the 24 August 1935 issue of Nature (p. 297).

Technique of Factor Analysis

Factor analysis is a subject upon which Prof. G. H. Thomson, Dr. Wm. Brown and others have frequently written letters to Nature. This analysis is concerned with a selected population of n individuals each of whom has been measured in m tests. The (m)(m-1)/2 intercorrelations for these m variables are subjected to either a Spearman or other factor analysis.

The technique, however, can also be inverted. We begin with a population of n different tests (or essays, pictures, traits or other measurable material), each of which is measured or scaled by m individuals. The (m)(m-1)/2 intercorrelations are then factorised in the usual way.

This inversion has interesting practical applications. It brings the factor technique from group and field work into the laboratory, and reaches into spheres of work hitherto untouched or not amendable to factorisation. It is especially valuable in experimental aesthetics and in educational psychology, no less than in pure psychology.

It allows a completely new series of studies to be made on the Spearman ‘central intellective factor’ (g), and also allows tests to be made of the Two Factor Theorem under greatly improved experimental conditions. Data on these and other points are to be published in due course in the British Journal of Psychology.

W. Stephenson Psychological Laboratory, University College, Gower Street, London, W.C.1. June 28.

Stewart on leadership and management in the U.S. armed forces

Stewart, William G. (2008, October 23). Perceptions of leadership and management: In the Armed Forces of the United States. Saarbr�cken, Germany: VDM Verlag. 156 pp. ISBN-13: 9783639088427. $75.77.

Summary: This study probed U.S. military officers on their perceptions of effective leadership and management behaviors. Serving military members reported the leader styles they found especially useful. The study’s aim was to build a theory describing those leader styles that would lead to organizational success. It was based on a series of surveys and interviews of commissioned officers representing all services and commissioned grades, conducted at a joint service headquarters in Europe. The factor analytical techniques of Q methodology were used to distill meaning from the subjective judgment of the participants. Subsequent semi-structured questioning helped to put the findings into context and triangulated the results with qualitative data. Respondents reported that they consciously used both transformational and transactional leader styles. They demonstrated the application of a variety of cognitive leadership frameworks. The officers studied displayed important though sometimes subtle differences in their leader styles. As a whole they made their focus on mission accomplishment of paramount importance when balanced against any other concerns.

William Stewart joined the University of Maryland faculty in 1990, after retiring from the U.S. Air Force with 21 years of service in ICBM operations, as a pilot, and in international politico-military affairs for Germany and the United Kingdom. He completed his Ph.D. in organizational leadership at the University of Oklahoma, writing a dissertation on perceptions of leadership and management in the Armed Forces of the United States. He received an MBA from the University of South Dakota and a BA in international relations and German from Brigham Young University.

La Paro et al. on beliefs of preservice early childhood education teachers

La Paro, Karen M., Kathy Siepak, & Catherine Scott-Little (2009, January). Assessing beliefs of preservice early childhood education teachers using Q-sort methodology. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 30(1), 22-36.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the beliefs of students and faculty in a 4-year birth-kindergarten teacher preparation program using the Teacher Belief Q-Sort (TBQ). Data were collected over one academic year from a total of 63 students, 35 students at the beginning of their coursework and 28 students at the end of their program, completing their student teaching experience. The faculty (n = 8) in the program completed the TBQ to provide a criterion sort as well as to assess the consistency in philosophy across faculty members who teach preservice teachers. Compilations of rankings are presented to describe beliefs related to children, discipline, and teaching practices held by students who are at different points in their education program. Criterion comparison results indicate that student teachers at the end of their education program report beliefs more similar to faculty beliefs than students at the beginning of their education program. However, findings suggest that the student teaching experience does not appear to significantly alter beliefs about children, discipline and teaching practices. These results are discussed in terms of child-directed versus teacher-directed styles of preservice teachers and implications of assessing beliefs for teacher preparation programs.

Karen M La Paro <kmlaparo@uncg.edu>is in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Lee et al. on Korean perceptions of good death

Lee, Hyun Ji, Kae Hwa Jo, Kyong Hee Chee, & Yun Ju Lee (2008, October). The perception of good death among human service students in South Korea: A Q-methodological approach. Death Studies, 32(9), 870-890.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the subjective opinions of Korean college students about good death. Q methodology was used to analyze 34 Q-statements from 37 respondents who majored in social work, nursing, or education at a university in South Korea. With the use of a PC-QUANL software package, 4 types of perceptions about good death were identified. They are a resolute acceptance type; a reasonable, natural lifespan type; a relational, sentimental type; and an altruistic, satisfied type. Results of this study indicate that approaches to death education need to be differentiated to take into account this typology and the characteristics of the students that fall into each category.

Hyun Ji Lee is with Catholic University, Daegu, Gyeongbuk, South Korea. Co-authors Jo and Lee are also at Catholic University. Chee is at Texas State University-San Marcos, USA.

Day on Q applied to policy process theories and frameworks

Day, Shane (2008, Summer). Applications of Q methodology to a variety of policy process theories and frameworks. International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, 11(2), 141-171.

Abstract: This paper provides an overview of a form of factor analysis, Q methodology, and suggests how it might be applied in an institutional analysis setting. Q methodology provides for a middle ground between positivist and phenomenological methods, and that its usage will not necessarily result in overly contextualized findings that render generalization impossible. The paper’s primary focus is to suggest several uses of Q methodology within different established policy studies frameworks, namely the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) Framework, the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), and the policy process as conceptualized by Lasswell’s Policy Sciences approach.

Shane Day is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Ph.D. Program in Public Policy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Department of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington. His teaching and research interests are in public policy, international relations, environmental policy, identity politics, and the politics of indigenous groups.

ten Klooster, Visser, and de Jong on Q and Likert scales

ten Klooster, Peter M., Martijn Visser, & Menno D.T. de Jong (2008). Comparing two image research instruments: The Q-sort method versus the Likert attitude questionnaire. Food Quality and Preference, 19, 511�518.

Abstract: Despite the attention for corporate, brand and product images, only few studies focus on methodological comparisons of image research methods. This article presents a comparison of two current instruments: the Q-sort method and a Likert attitude questionnaire. The study applies both methods to measure the image of beef, using the same assertions in similar samples of consumers. The two methods produce consistent results, but differ in the possibilities of data analysis and interpretation. An advantage of the Q-sort method is that it offers straightforward insights in the underlying structure of image within audience segments. On the other hand, the Q-sort method does not give overall indications of an image, and limits occur for analyzing the relationships between image and other variables.

M.D.T. De Jong and his co-authors are with the Institute for Behavioral Research, Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands.

Akhtar-Danesh et al. on simulation use in nursing education

Akhtar-Danesh, Noori, Pamela Baxter, Ruta K. Valaitis, Wendy Stanyon, & Susan Sproul (2009, April). Nurse faculty perceptions of simulation use in nursing education. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 31(3), 312-329.

Abstract: In this study nursing faculty perceptions of the implementation of simulation in schools of nursing across Ontario, Canada, were explored using the Q-methodology technique. Following Q-methodology guidelines, 104 statements were collected from faculty and students with exposure to simulation to determine the concourse (what people say about the issue). The statements were classified into six domains, including teaching and learning, access/reach, communication, technical features, technology set-up and training, and comfort/ease of use with technology. They were then refined into 43 final statements for the Q-sample. Next, 28 faculty from 17 nursing schools participated in the Q-sorting process. A by-person factor analysis of the Q-sort was conducted to identify groups of participants with similar viewpoints. Results revealed four major viewpoints held by faculty including: (a) Positive Enthusiasts, (b) Traditionalists, (c) Help Seekers, and (d) Supporters. In conclusion, simulation was perceived to be an important element in nursing education. Overall, there was a belief that clinical simulation requires (a) additional support in terms of the time required to engage in teaching using this modality, (b) additional human resources to support its use, and (c) other types of support such as a repository of clinical simulations to reduce the time from development of a scenario to implementation. Few negative voices were heard. It was evident that with correct support (human resources) and training, many faculty members would embrace clinical simulation because it could support and enhance nursing education.

Noori Akhtar-Danesh , Pamela Baxter, and Ruta K. Valaitis are at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario), which hosted the 2008 Q conference. Wendy Stanyon and Susan Sproul are affiliated with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.