You are here

Due to a disruption with our fulfilment partner, we are unable to take print book orders on our website. We recommend purchasing via retailers and online via

Digital inspection copies are still available to request. If you require a print inspection copy, please contact your local Academic Sales Consultant.

For further assistance please visit our Contact us page. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for the inconvenience.

Doing Q Methodological Research

Doing Q Methodological Research
Theory, Method & Interpretation

March 2012 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book is a simple yet thorough introduction to Q methodology, a research technique designed to capture the subjective or first-person viewpoints of its participants. Watts and Stenner outline the key theoretical concepts developed by William Stephenson, the founder of Q methodology, including subjectivity, concourse theory and abduction. They then turn to the practicalities of delivering high quality Q methodological research.

Using worked examples throughout, the reader is guided through:

• important design issues

• the conduct of fieldwork

• all the analytic processes of Q methodology, including factor extraction, factor rotation and factor interpretation.

Drawing on helpful conceptual introductions to potentially difficult statistical concepts and a step-by-step guide to running Q methodological analyses using dedicated software, this book enables interested readers to design, manage, analyse, interpret and publish their own Q methodological research.

Introducing Q Methodology: The Inverted-Factor Technique
Theory and Q Methodology: From Stephenson to Constructionism
Basic Design Issues: Research Questions and Q Sets
Doing the Fieldwork: Participants, Materials and Procedure
Understanding the Analytic Process (1): Factor Extraction
Understanding the Analytic Process (2): Factor Rotation and the Preparation of Factor Arrays
Factor Interpretation
Writing and Publishing Q Methodological Papers
General Instructions for Completing a Q Methodological Study

Conducting an Analysis Using PQ Method: A Step-by-step Guide (plus an explanation of the PQ Method output or .lis file

First Draft Crib Sheets (for study factors 2, 3, 4 and 5)


This is the book the Q community has been waiting for! Aspirational Q researchers will find it a comprehensive, balanced and thorough guide, taking them systematically from refining their research question(s) to publishing their first Q methodological study
Wendy Stainton Rogers
Professor Emerita, The Open University

Watts and Stenner's fresh, comprehensive introduction to Q methodology factor analysis and interpretation is consistently sensitive to the less-experienced researcher's need for clear explanations and extensive supporting details. All Q researchers will value its range of practical tips and elaboration of important concepts
Amanda Wolf, Editor, Operant Subjectivity: The International Journal of Q Methodology


According to the Q community this is' the book which they have been waiting for. To date, there lacked a book in which the simple and robust method is introduced. As a teacher and researcher, I am glad Watts and Stenner fill this gap with their book.[...]The content of Doing Q methodological research is divided into three parts, respectively into theory, method and interpretation. The book is peppered with examples and case studies and the authors give advice on very practical matters, such as conducting fieldwork, working with the participants and conducting good data management.

Susan Jedeloo
KWALON Journal

This is a comprehensive, clear, ‘one-stop start’ to the method with some very useful chapter summaries and appendices. [...]Together with the all-important recommended free software package for the data analysis if you were thinking of taking this approach this would be a good place to begin.

Dr Ron Iphofen,
Independent research consultant

A lovely introduction to Q methodology which is not commonly taught across UG programmes of study. Is helpfully illustrated with examples and case studies.

Mrs Sarah McNamara
Dept Nursing & Primary Care Practice, Liverpool John Moores University
April 25, 2024

The book is very clear and concise, plus it is fun to read. It is written in a way which provides the theoretical background first and then builds on the practical guidance.

Dr Robin Bell
Worcester Business School, Worcester University
April 1, 2016

A comprehensive book detailing the essentials of Q methodology for novice researchers in the field and also for those with more advanced qualitative researching skills wanting to update their knowledge and skill set in Q methodology. An easy to follow read for undergraduates students.

Miss Rebecca Healey
School of Social Sciences and Law, University of Teesside
November 25, 2015

Q methodology won't necessarily be employed by many people in their early research efforts, but for those adventurous enough to give it a try, this book is invaluable. It's very readable, clear and comprehensive. I don't know of any other book on the topic that falls into this same "one stop reading" category.

Mr Bill Green
Secondary Education, Wolverhampton University
April 2, 2015

This is an excellent book that is much needed with regards to this particular methodology. I teach Q methodology here at the University of Worcester and this book will now be our core text.

Dr Derek Farrell
Department of Psychology, Worcester University
October 1, 2014

THis is a fantastic book, absolutely essential to anyone considering doing Q methods based research. there are almost no training courses available in this method, but with this book I felt confidant in undertaking research in this adn will use it as a tool for training my students

Dr Kirsty Kiezebrink
Public Helath Nutrition, Aberdeen University
April 30, 2014

This is the best text I have read on the subject of Q methodology, both at an introductory level and for researchers wanting to shape their craft.

Mr Kieran Balloo
Department of Psychology, Roehampton Univ.
March 27, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781849204156
ISBN: 9781849204149

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.

With SAGE Research Methods, researchers can explore their chosen method across the depth and breadth of content, expanding or refining their search as needed; read online, print, or email full-text content; utilize suggested related methods and links to related authors from SAGE Research Methods' robust library and unique features; and even share their own collections of content through Methods Lists. SAGE Research Methods contains content from over 720 books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, the entire “Little Green Book,” and "Little Blue Book” series, two Major Works collating a selection of journal articles, and specially commissioned videos.