The meanings of destination: a Q method approach

Q method bridges qualitative and quantitative research by combining the mathematical rigor of quantitative method with the interpretive component of qualitative method. The role of the researcher is different in Q method and traditional qualitative methods used in human–place studies . Traditional qualitative research may suffer from the bias of researcher’s subjectivity, because the researcher plays the primary role in examining the participant’s narrative. In Q method, the process of factor analysis and post-sort interview allows researchers to reflect on themselves as subjective agents and identify the ideas their own views might have obscured, a distinct advantage over qualitative methods.

Moreover, by sorting each Q statement and interpreting it in relation to all other Q statements, Q method preserves the holistic nature of a viewpoint better than survey research can. Whereas a traditional survey method adopts a selection of objective measurements to capture the participant’s expression on some psychological traits, Q method gives the subjects room to construct their own viewpoint and interpret each statement in their own ways. Q method analyzes subjects’ relationship to shared perspectives among all participants, rather than the relationships between the traits or concepts. Q method seeks to describe a population of diverse viewpoints on a topic rather than a population of people; therefore, a relatively small number of participants is enough. If you wish to learn more, please read the full article by following this link.

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Research Methods in Tourism Studies

Nankai University