Q-Sorting Dynamics - A Note on a Computer-Mediated Tool and its Added Value to Q Methodology

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Claire Gauzente
Pascale Kuntz
Aurelien Milliat
Yves Roy



The analysis of the results of Q sorting mainly focuses on the final sort made by each individual. The only way to take into account the dynamics of sorting construction is through the post-sorting interview, which normally requires a face-to-face context. Recently, the analysis of this dynamic has raised the interest of psychometric researchers. Specifically, scholars of the subdomain of psychometrics known as the Cognitive Aspects of Survey Methodology have confirmed the value of collecting further data through digital tools. In this methodological note, we explore the contribution of information collected through digital traces measured during the sorting process. A purposely designed software allows us to capture all events generated by a respondent’s computer mouse during the two main stages of Q sorting. We report on the identification of different sorting behaviours which allows the detection of both atypical statements and atypical respondents that may require closer attention. In addition, a complementary analysis based on weighted PCA is investigated in order to test how such additional information can be integrated into traditional Q-factor analysis. An example is provided using a previously validated subjective inquiry on the perception of augmented reality by the general public.

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Gauzente, C., Kuntz, P., Milliat, A., & Roy, Y. (2022). Q-Sorting Dynamics - A Note on a Computer-Mediated Tool and its Added Value to Q Methodology. Operant Subjectivity, 43. https://doi.org/10.22488/okstate.21.100588