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.

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Keywords Q-Block method, benchmarking, Australia, discourse of democracy
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Journal Operant Subjectivity
Simon Niemeyer. (2010). The Q-Block Method and an Alternative: Benchmarking the Australian Discourse of Democracy. Operant Subjectivity, 34(1), 59–84. doi:10.15133/j.os.2010.004