Q methodology as a constructivist methodology

Paul Stenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Following a brief discussion of the meanings of constructivism an argument is made to the effect that Q methodology is a constructivist methodology in a sense that is compatible with the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. A brief comparison of the ideas of Stephenson and Whitehead is followed by a section outlining Whitehead’s notion of the ‘actual occasion’ as the core of a constructivist approach to nature. It is argued that a comparable conception of the event is at play in Stephenson’s thinking about Q methodology, and that this is key to understanding the quantum theoretical aspects of Q. Some of the procedures of Q methodology are then interpreted in the light of this conception. The conclusion uses the distinction between experience and expression to integregate the ideas of Stephenson, Whitehead and William James into a novel synthesis of potential use to Q methodologists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-69
Number of pages24
JournalOperant Subjectivity: The International Journal of Q Methodology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Q methodology
  • social constructionism
  • constructivism


Dive into the research topics of 'Q methodology as a constructivist methodology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this