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Durham e-Theses
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Subjectivity objectified:: The origins, development, and implementation of Q methodological single case studies

Meier, Jeffrey M. (2004) Subjectivity objectified:: The origins, development, and implementation of Q methodological single case studies. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis explores the origins, development and implementation of Q methodology and Q methodological single case (QMSC) studies. The thesis begins by first establishing the historical and methodological background from which the later procedural and theoretical discussions of these investigative approaches sprang. These discussions initially revolve around a collection of both published and unpublished works utilizing Q methodology and QMSC studies by William Stephenson, the developer and primary champion of these methodologies, and by some of his students and colleagues. The application of QMSC studies to the objective investigation of subjectivity is then established, both as utilized in studies conducted by Stephenson and as employed by other researchers in academic fields such as sociology, psychology, and political science. Through the presentation of this QMSC work, the flexibility of Stephenson's approach is demonstrated. This flexibility is a product of the methodology's ability to aid in the objective investigation of behavioral influences on an individual from the perspective of nearly any individual in essentially every field of social science, both when used alone and when combined with Q methodology and other research procedures. What is more, QMSC studies are shown to demonstrate sensitivity to the uniqueness of each case while maintaining a concern for statistical rigor. Particular attention is paid to some of Stephenson's unpublished QMSC studies. Examples of the use of QMSC by other researchers are also presented, and the current revival of interest in single case work-in fields such as the study of personality and cognitive neuropsychology is also noted. Some limitations of the research are discussed. The thesis concludes with an assessment of the significance and future potential of QMSC studies in a variety of applied and research fields—including marketing, criminal justice, and in my own work in medicine.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:2004
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 10:02

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