How to use q-methodology in dream research: Assumptions, procedures and benefits
Parker, J. and Alford, C. (2010) How to use q-methodology in dream research: Assumptions, procedures and benefits. Dreaming, 20 (3). pp. 169-183. ISSN 1053-0797
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0020422
Current quantitative methods of approaching dream research, which dominate published material about dreams, have led to descriptions of dreams as homogenous events. Q-methodology is an approach that may identify heterogeneity in dream report studies and subsequent dream types based upon the subjectivity of the dream experience. Q-methodology is described as a “Qualiquantological” approach to dream analysis which maximizes the use of statistics in a qualitative way (Stenner & Stainton-Rogers, 2004). “Q” is distinguished from other methods because the dreamer sorts the subjectivity of the dream they are reporting and provides a written description of the dream; these are used together to identify shared patterns of subjectivity within a large data set. The advantages of using Q-methodology are outlined and the resources necessary to conduct a study are shared. The aim of this paper is to present a preliminary explanation prior to presenting the first study to use Q-methodology in dream research.