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The Interview in Q Methodology: Readiness to Adopt Sustainable Responses to Climate Change

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By: Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases
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Abstract

‘Transformative learning’ involves a major shift in a person's frame of reference, leading to new commitments. It is not enough to have access to good information. People also need to be ready to change. I explored this readiness using Q methodology. I asked participants to sort items from the transformative learning literature while looking back to the time that they became persuaded of the need for sustainable responses to climate change. Factor analysis of the Q-sort data showed two perspectives and four discrete patterns of alignment with them. In Q methodology, post-sort interviews provide additional data to aid factor interpretation, but practices vary widely from no interview to long face-to-face conversations. To clarify the role of interviews, I discuss the difference between interviews focused on the meaning of Q-sort items and those that focus on participants' experiences. In this case, I demonstrate the importance of conversational interviews. Experience stories enable richer interpretations of factors from Q-sort analysis, and generate plausible insights about how people come to have their beliefs and attitudes.

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