This paper, authored by Job van Exel and Gjalt de Graaf aims to provide a detailed overview of the basics of Q methodology for those who need easily accessible information on this research strategy.
"Q methodology provides a foundation for the systematic study of subjectivity, a person’s viewpoint, opinion, beliefs, attitude, and the like (Brown 1993). Typically, in a Q methodological study people are presented with a sample of statements about some topic, called the Q-set. Respondents, called the P-set, are asked to rank-order the statements from their individual point of view, according to some preference, judgement or feeling about them, mostly using a quasi-normal distribution. By Q sorting people give their subjective meaning to the statements, and by doing so reveal their subjective viewpoint (Smith 2001) or personal profile (Brouwer 1999)."