A key aspect of any Q methodology [Q] study is the development of a concourse of communications related to the topic as well as the selection of a Q sample that is in effect a subset of this concourse, representing the range of communications about the topic. The concourse can have many sources including interviews, newspapers, and focus groups. Often, after themes are identified within the concourse, the Q sample is selected using Fisher’s Design of Experiments. This article details the development of a concourse of statements emerging from the writings of seventh grade students in an urban school district with a high free and reduced lunch population. These seventh graders were either preparing to participate in a field trip to a local nature center or had recently completed some aspect of that experience. Initially the concourse consisted of 186 statements. Multiple iterations were used to select the Q sample from the concourse and the quality of the student writing was sometimes an issue. Four themes were identified among the items: activity, good student, learning, and nature. The final selection of the 40-item Q sample was balanced among the four themes.

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Operant Subjectivity

Susan Ramlo, Danna Starvaggi, Randall Mitchell, & Lara Roketenetz. (2020). Developing Concourse and Selecting a Q Sample: Preparation for a Q study About Urban, American, Middle-School Science Students’ Views of Nature. Operant Subjectivity, 41(1), 110–120. doi:10.15133/j.os.2019.006