Q Method


a semi-qualitative, semi-quantitative approach...

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the range of attitudes on and perceptions of climate change, ecosystems, and migration reasons and outcomes, we conducted a “Q” study. This is a method to investigate opinions on a particular issue by statistically analysing participants’ ranking of statements about the issue.  Questionnaire respondents participate in the Q study. This enables an analysis of attitudes and perceptions among different categories of the survey population (e.g. men and women, migrants and non-migrants, poorer and richer households).

The methodology expands upon more traditional methods of data collection through the application of Q method. Q is a semi-qualitative, semi-quantitative approach to understand the accounts generated by individuals. Data is analyzed using data reduction methods to discern the existing patterns of ‘distinct perspectives, discourses, or decision-making styles’. [1] The data collected is quantitatively analyzed, however, its interpretation is extensively qualitative. Researchers can code and use results in partnership with other qualitative methods as well as a starting point for quantitative confirmatory methods.


[1] C. Zografos. Rurality discourses and the role of the social enterprise in regenerating rural Scotland. Journal of Rural Studies, 23(1):38–51, 2007.