The "Q" Methodology
Q methodology has been known for more than half a century ago. This particular methodology is used to study the "subjectivity" of individual. The term "Q Methodology" itself was first coined by William Stephenson (1902-1989), an Englishman who trained in physics (Ph.D., 1926), psychology (Ph.D., 1929) and psychometrics (disciple of Charles Spearman and Sir Cyril Burt).
This research method is a combination of individual intensive methods of data collection and analysis of quantitative data. Q methodology requires subject of research to sort the weight of opinion (called Q-sorting) and put them in groups along the continuum. This continuum contains anchors such as "most like me" to "least like me". The researchers of IISA Assessment, Consultancy & Research Centre then assign a numerical value based on the subject’s selected location in the continuum to analyze the results statistically.
Q methodology offers a systematic way to identify a variety of typical subjective point of view in a particular context. Since its systematics and sharpness help in interpreting, Q methodology is suitable for postgraduate studies, either as a standalone research design, a sharpener of interview-based research, or interpretive supplements that help designing the survey instrument design.
Q methodology can be used to discover the anatomy of the subjectivity of opinion and can be used in many fields, such as: Assessment, biopsychology, various branches of Psychology (Comparative, Development, Personality, Industrial, Clinical), Cognitive Sciences, Language Studies, Philosophy, and Social Sciences.