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This paper uses a set of overlapping statements between a 1993 study on
Australian discourses of democracy performed by Dryzek (1994) and a more
recent Q study in association with the Citizen's Parliament held in
2009 to explore the relative merits of using the Q-block method,
proposed by Talbott (1963; reprinted in this issue) and a simpler
'z-score method' for indexing the relationship between individuals and a
pre-existing set of factors established by the Dryzek study. The
results reveal a stronger correlation with the original study factor
loadings using the z-score method than using the Q-block method, which
tended to systematically underestimate associations with factors.
Although the Q-block method remains the easier of the two methods for
obtaining data, the z-score method produces more accurate results as a
proxy for individual Q-sort factor loadings.