Q Methodology as the Foundation for a Science of Subjectivity
William Stephenson's 1935 letter to the Editor of Nature, published 60 years ago, contains within its four short paragraphs all the essentials for a science of subjectivity. Focusing on two studies - on the controversies surrounding animal experimentation and of problem selection in policy analysis - illustrations are provided of the new phenomena brought to light through "inverted" factor analysis, and of the advantages of experimentation which Q methodology enjoys. A proposed study on food habits demonstrates how experimental probes can be made into the cognitive and orectic aspects of nutrition and food choice. The conclusion is reached that Q methodology remains the foundation of the study of subjective behavior.