qmethod: A Package to Explore Human Perspectives Using Q Methodology

Zabala, Aiora (2014). qmethod: A Package to Explore Human Perspectives Using Q Methodology. The R Journal, 6(2) pp. 163–173.

URL: https://journal.r-project.org/archive/2014/RJ-2014...


Q is a methodology to explore the distinct subjective perspectives that exist within a group. It is used increasingly across disciplines. The methodology is semi-qualitative and the data are analysed using data reduction methods to discern the existing patterns of thought. This package is the first to perform Q analysis in R, and it provides many advantages to the existing software: namely, it is fully cross-platform, the algorithms can be transparently examined, it provides results in a clearly structured and tabulated form ready for further exploration and modelling, it produces a graphical summary of the results, and it generates a more concise report of the distinguishing and consensus statements. This paper introduces the methodology and explains how to use the package, its advantages as well as its limitations. I illustrate the main functions with a dataset on value patterns about democracy.

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