The QMethod Page

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PQMethod Software

PQMethod is a statistical program tailored to the requirements of Q studies. Specifically, it allows to easily enter data (Q-Sorts) the way they are collected, i.e. as 'piles' of statement numbers. It computes intercorrelations among Q-Sorts, which are then factor-analysed with the Centroid or, alternatively, PCA method. Resulting factors can be rotated either analytically (Varimax), or judgmentally with the help of two-dimensional plots. Finally, after selecting the relevant factors and 'flagging' the entries that define the factors, the analysis step produces an extensive report with a variety of tables on factor loadings, statement factor scores, discriminating statements for each of the factors as well as consensus statements across factors, etc. The original FORTRAN program, QMethod, was developed by John Atkinson at Kent State University in 1992 for mainframe platforms, and released to the Public Domain. It was ported by the maintainer of this site to the PC and updated with added features to versions 2.xx later on.

PQMethod with the accompanying PQROT is free software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License(GPL).

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See also:

The source code for  PQMethod (FORTRAN77) and PQROT (free pascal) is contained in the Linux package, see link above.

Other Software Packages for the Analysis of Q-Sort Data

Like QMethod, Norman Van Tubergen's QUANAL is a FORTAN program, developed in the 1960s for mainframe platforms. It is rather complex, and offers a great variety of features and options with respect to input-data structure, methods of analysis and the presentation of results. For further information contact Norm Van Tubergen. <>.
PCQ for Windows
by Mike Stricklin is a commercial factor-analysis program for Q-technique.
 'qmethod' package for R ( by Aiora Zabala with contributions by Maximilian Held )
This package performs the analysis of Q methodology data using principal components analysis and varimax (or other analytical) rotation.  See Aiora's qmethod/wiki for an introduction and overview.

Ken-Q Analysis by Shawn Banasick - A Web Application for Q Methodology
... brings the interactivity and convenience of the web to Q-methodology.
Kade - the desktop version of Ken-Q, see
Banasick, (2019). KADE: A desktop application for Q methodology. Journal of Open Source Software, 4(36), 1360.
General-Purpose Statistical Packages
The big commercial statistical packages like, for instance, SPSS, though highly-featured, user-friendly, flexible, etc. in many respects, do not provide optimal support for entering and factor-analysing Q-sort data. Yet, they may be indispensable for additional statistical procedures not available with QMethod software (e.g., analysis of variance). In practice, therefore, one often needs to use both, general and specialized statistical software, alongside with each other - especially in cases of mixed Q- and R-designs (within-subjects and between-subjects perspectives of analysis). An example that demonstrates how a typical Q analysis can be set up in SPSS is provided in the 'Q Study Archive' (see below).

Other Q Resources on the Web
The official Q Website of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity (ISSSS)
Electronic Discussion Group 'Q-METHOD'
Browse recent contributions (provided by CIOS/Comserve)

Selected Q-References

The Quick-Q Web Animation

5-minute YouTube clip by Tim Deignan

The Textbook, The Primer and a New Textbook:

Brown, Steven R. (1980). Political subjectivity. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. -Available on the webpage:

McKeown, Bruce & Thomas, Dan (2013): Q Methodology. 2nd ed.  Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

Watts, S., & Stenner, P. (2012). Doing Q Methodological Research: Theory, Method and Interpretation. London, Thousand Oaks CA, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage Publications.

The "Californian" School of Thought on the Q-Sort Method:

Block, Jack (1961/1978): The Q-sort method in personality assessment and psychiatric research. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. (reprinted in 1978 by Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA). Available for download at:
Block, Jack (2008). The Q-Sort in character appraisal: Encoding subjective impressions of persons quantitatively. American Psychological Association. -Available also as eBook by PsycBooks via EBSCO.

The "British Dialect" of Q-Methodology:

Stainton Rogers, Rex & Stainton Rogers, Wendy (1990). What the Brits Got Out of the Q: And Why Their Work may not Line Up with the American Way of Getting Into It! Electronic Journal of Communication, 1 (1).
The "Manifesto"

Stainton Rogers, Rex (1995): Q methodology. In J.A. Smith, R. Harré & L. Van Langenhofe (Eds.), Rethinking methods in psychology (pp. 178-192). London and Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Introductory Texts Available on the Web:

Black, Carolyn (2013).  Q methodology. Approach the Newsletter from the Social Research Team at Ipsos MORI Scotland, April , 4-5.
A very short introductory text specifically suited for the market research audience in that it makes clear that Q methodology is not just another variant of survey interviews. Available for download at

Brown, S.R. (1993). A primer on Q methodology. Operant Subjectivity, 16,  91-138. Available at .
[This is the published version of 'Brown, Steven R. (1991/1992). A Q Methodological tutorial. Eight postings to QUALRS-L@UGA']
Brown, Steven R. (1996). Q methodology and qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 6(4), 561-567. Fulltext copy at this site.

Donner, Jonathan C. (2001): Using q-sorts in participatory processes: An introduction to the methodology. In Social Analysis: Selected Tools and Techniques (Social Development Papers,     Number 36, pp. 24-59) . Washington, DC: The World Bank, Social Development Department. Available also at:

Müller, Florian H. & Kals, Elisabeth (2004, Mai). Die Q-Methode. Ein innovatives Verfahren zur Erhebung subjektiver Einstellungen und Meinungen [Q-Sort Technique and Q-Methodology: Innovative Methods for Examining Attitudes and Opinions]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 5(2), Art. 34. Available:

Van Exel, N. Job A. & de Graaf, Gjalt (2005). Q methodology: A sneak preview. Online document, available from

Webler, T., Danielson, S., & Tuler, S. (2009). Using Q method to reveal social perspectives in environmental research. Greenfield MA: Social and Environmental Research Institute. Available from:

A Bibliography by Steven R. Brown

This page maintained by: Peter Schmolck <>
formerly at the University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich
Last Change: 2021 - Jan - 02