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Technical Notes

SINCE RESOURCES related to Q technique are scattered, the Technical Notes section seeks to pull together some of the main concepts and ideas. The notes are divided into two parts, (1) having to do with PCQ for Windows procedures, and (2) having to do with broader issues. Additionally, a basic bibliography and a collection of web resources have been included.

 

Contents

 

         PCQ Procedures

Broader Issues

 

 


How a Study File is organized

 

Since the program reads information and data directly from the Study File, the contents of it are sensitive to changes. It is with this in mind that a detailed explanation of the file is given here. A Study file is divided into three sections: (1) Study parameters and other information; (2) text of the items and the sort pile assignments; (3) results of factoring and rotation.

Please see the section on Editing a Study File for detailed instructions on changing it.

 

Lines

Details

 

1 - 15

Parameters of the study and other information

 

16

Beginning of text of the Q statements

 

Line following last Q statement

Beginning of Q sort data

 

Line following last Q sort

Beginning of centroid factor loadings

 

Line following last centroid

Beginning of rotated factor loadings, Judgmental first

 

Line following last rotated factor loadings

End of file marker {END}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

item 1. We accept improvements ...

Start of Q statement lines. The line ends with a period.

 

sort 1 [ f-US22IndLibMid-1 ] = 4,5, ...

Start of Q sort lines. Data sequence is ascending; i.e., 4 is the value assigned to item 1, and so on. Values are separated by a comma (,) and each line ends with a comma.

 

cent 1 = -29,-38, 36, ...

Start of centroid lines. The sequence is ascending; i.e., -29 is the loading for Sort 1. Loadings are rounded to 2 places and separated by a comma (,). Each line ends with a comma.

 

hand sig 1 = -22,-13,4, ...
hand no 5 = -30,-22,-1, ...

 

 

vmax sig 3 = 77,68,9, ...
vmax no 6 = -20,13,-6, ...

Start of rotated factor loadings. Follows the same protocol as the centroid lines.  Note that "sig" symbolizes that the factor contains at least one significant loading.

Judgmental loadings will precede Varimax loadings if both rotation protocols were performed.

 

 

 

 

 

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Example Contents of a Study File

 

Line  1:    LIPSET.STY

Study file name

 

Line  2:    Lipset Q study

Header line 1

 

Line  3:    Democratic values

Header line 2

 

Line  4:    9 sorts

Number of sorts

 

Line  5:    33 items

Number of items

 

Line  6:    9 piles

Number of piles

 

Line  7:    9 centroids

Number of centroids extracted

 

Line  8:    2 3 4 5 5 5 4 3 2

Pile distribution

 

Line  9:    4.84848484848771

Variance

 

Line 10:    options entered 8:44:39 AM,11/6/99

Time and date options entered

 

Line 11:    scores edited 6:41 PM, 03-23-1995

Time and date scores edited

 

Line 12:    factored 11:18:02 PM,11/21/99

Time and date factored

 

Line 13:    varimax & judgmental rotation 11:20:15 PM, 11/21/99

Type, time and date of rotation

 

Line 14:

Not used

 

Line 15: last opened at 11:17:54 PM,11/21/99

Time and date file was last opened

 

item 1. We accept improvements in the status and power of the lower classes without feeling morally offended.
item 2. All men are expected to try to improve their position vis-a-vis others.
item 3. Success in life by a previously deprived person is resented.
item 4. Men can expect, and within limits receive, fair treatment according to their merits.
item 5. Lower-class individuals and groups do not have revolutionary inclinations.
item 6. Political goals and methods are relatively moderate in this country -- and even conservative.
item 7. We believe that those born to high place in society should retain it, more or less automatically.
item 8. We take the view that anyone with wealth deserves a place in any high society if he wishes it.
item 9. We try to eliminate the privileged classes in this country -- socially and economically.
item 10. We accept aristocratic-type titles and other honors.
item 11. The government has its secrets, and this is generally accepted without much resentment.
item 12. We place great emphasis on publicity in political matters: there should be no secrets.
item 13. We are encouraged to think of ourselves as competing for success -- on our own merits.
item 14. You can tell the social status of a person the moment he opens his mouth -- his manner of speech gives him away.
item 15. We tend to take the law into our own hands, through mob action and the organization of vigilantes.
item 16. We like to think of close ties to the Mother Country -- as Britain still is for many.
item 17. We prefer companionship and a helping hand as required, freely given.
item 18. There is some disdain for acquiring wealth for its own sake.
item 19. High value is placed on activities aimed at protecting and promoting the standing of the "underdog" in this country.
item 20. We like the idea of a welfare state: each of us looks after his own best interests this way.
item 21. We value the "race for success."
item 22. Corrupt means of achieving success are accepted: for example, we put up with boss rule, and corruption in trade unions.
item 23. It is an axiom that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor: the rich man can usually get his way in court.
item 24. Lack of respect for the police, and law enforcement is evident.
item 25. Trust in the police has sunk deeply into our national character: basically we like and trust the police.
item 26. The worth of a man is judged by what he is -- not by whether he has gone to a private college, a state university, or to neither.
item 27. We have deep respect, when all is said and done, for the elite -- the rich, the educated, the social elite.
item 28. We are tolerant of popular opinion: we are essentially middle-of-the-roaders in politics. Extremes don't go down well with us.
item 29. We still believe that the poor on earth will enjoy higher status in after-life.
item 30. There is considerable respect for civil liberties and minority rights in this country.
item 31. Virtue tends to be its own reward in this country, for one's self and one's children.
item 32. We believe that the position of depressed classes must be raised, that they are morally as good as any others.
item 33. Here, the emphasis is on "getting ahead."
sort 1 [ f-US22IndLibMid-1 ] = 4,5,3,5,3,6,5,4,5,4,6,6,7,8,4,1,2,2,4,1,8,7,8,6,6,5,9,7,7,2,3,3,9,
sort 2 [ m-US28DemLibWrk-2 ] = 4,5,4,2,7,8,6,6,1,5,7,4,9,4,6,2,5,3,3,5,8,3,6,5,7,6,7,8,4,1,3,2,9,
sort 3 [ m-US23IndLibUpM-3 ] = 7,3,3,9,4,5,1,2,6,1,2,8,8,7,5,2,7,4,6,5,6,3,5,7,3,8,6,4,5,4,4,9,6,
sort 4 [ m-US49RebLibUpM-4 ] = 8,6,2,4,4,8,2,3,5,1,4,5,8,3,2,1,4,7,9,3,9,6,6,3,5,6,4,7,5,7,6,7,5,
sort 5 [ m-JN23DemModMid-5 ] = 1,4,8,4,6,6,9,7,1,9,7,5,4,8,5,7,5,3,3,5,4,7,6,2,2,2,8,5,6,3,6,3,4,
sort 6 [ f-CA62ConConMid-6 ] = 6,2,5,8,8,9,3,5,3,3,6,4,6,5,1,8,4,5,6,4,3,2,4,1,7,7,5,9,4,7,6,7,2,
sort 7 [ f-BR29LabLibUpM-7 ] = 7,5,3,6,5,6,4,2,5,4,6,4,6,7,1,9,8,7,5,7,3,4,2,1,8,3,5,9,2,6,4,8,3,
sort 8 [ m-US28DemAnaLrM-8 ] = 3,7,5,2,1,9,5,4,4,4,6,4,6,4,9,5,5,6,2,6,7,7,8,8,2,6,1,8,5,3,3,3,7,
sort 9 [ m-FR21RepLibUrM-9 ] = 8,6,5,6,1,2,7,7,3,5,5,3,6,9,4,3,7,4,7,6,8,2,2,3,6,5,4,1,5,4,8,4,9,
cent 1 = -29,-38, 36, 33,-54, 47, 58,-51,  0,
cent 2 =  55, 25, 52, 49,-54,-25,-27, 25, 10,
cent 3 =  27, 52, -5, 23, 10, 49, 31, 15,-19,
cent 4 =  37, 25, -3,-23, 37,-20,-12,-18, 23,
cent 5 =  13,  1, 12, 15,  8, 39, 12,-26, 26,
cent 6 =  10, 21,  4, 20,-26,-28, -5, 11,  9,
cent 7 =  11, 12, -3, 11, 12, 18,  0, 22,-23,
cent 8 =  24,-14,  9,  3,  0,  8,-13,-16,-21,
cent 9 = -10,  0,  3,  4, -9, 42,  1, -4, 25,
hand sig 1 = -22,-13,  4, 12,  1, 85, 66,-47, -5,
hand sig 2 =  27, -1, 63, 62,-79,  5,  7, -1,  5,
hand sig 3 =  55, 69, -6, 20, 23, 14,-12, 46,-13,
hand sig 4 =  31, 12, 14, -3,  9,-17,-14,-26, 46,
hand no 5  = -30,-22, -1, 12,-23, 12,  4,  6,  0,
hand no 6  =   1, 19,  4, 25,-27,  1, 20,  0, -1,
hand no 7  =  11, -3,  6, 10, 11, 19, -6,  0,  4,
hand no 8  =  24,-14,  9,  3,  0,  8,-13,-16,-21,
hand no 9  = -10,  0,  3,  4, -9, 42,  1, -4, 25,
vmax sig 1 = -18,  1,  1, 21,  1, 94, 54,-22, -4,
vmax sig 2 =  17, -8, 61, 66,-87,  7, 11, -3,  4,
vmax sig 3 =  77, 68,  9, 18, 20, -4,-17, 22,  2,
vmax sig 4 =   0,  4,  9, -4, -2, -2, -8,-17, 57,
vmax sig 5 =   3, -1, -3, 10,  8, -1,  0,  1,  0,
vmax no 6  = -20, 13, -6,  5, -8, -2, 41, -7, -1,
vmax no 7  =   8, -7, 12, -3, 12,  1, -1,  0,  0,
vmax no 8  =  -2,-36, 15, -8,  1, 15, 22,-64,  8,
vmax no 9  =  -1,  1,  0,  0, -1, -1,  0,  0,  1,
{END}

 

 
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Editing a Study File

 

From time to time you may find it desirable to edit the contents of a Study File. Here you will find instructions on how to do so via a conservative and safe approach without endangering your data.

 

General sequence:
  • First, make a backup copy of the original Study File in another folder. To do this, open Explorer or My Computer and copy the file to any other folder. (Press the Ctrl key to copy.) By doing this, you will be editing only one of the two identical copies of the Study File.
  • Next, open the Study File with Notepad or other plain text editor. This is important because more sophisticated word processing programs put special characters into a file that PCQ cannot recognize.
  • Now you are ready to make changes.
  • After editing, you can maintain the original Study File by saving the now edited file under a different name. Be sure to type the new name in the first line of the Study File name in Line 1.
  • Use the "Save As" option to save the now-edited file with the name in Line 1.
Specific tips regarding editing:
  • You may change the parameters of a study, but as a consequence of changing (1) number of items, (2) number of piles or (3) pile distribution you will have to enter all the sorts again, but not the items. In other words, changing any of these three is equivalent to starting a new study.
  • You may change the number of sorts, and this will require re-factoring and rotation. Also, if you want to increase or reduce the number of sorts, be sure to change the value on Line 3 to match what you want to do.
  • You may change the order of sorts, but this will require a re-factoring and rotation.
  • Parameters need to reflect any changes you make. For example, if you have changed the number of sorts -- thus requiring factoring and rotation -- erase Lines 6, 11 & 12.
  • You may change either of the two Header Title lines with no effect on the analysis. New title lines will be used the next time a Log Report is generated.

 

 

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Log Report file characteristics

As a convention, the Log Report will be saved in the Study File Folder. Ex. C:\PCQ for Windows\Studies. You may change to another folder, if desired. Please consult Setting Preferences for instructions on personalizing the log report.

The log file name takes this form: an 8-character word of your choice, followed with the suffix .log. Ex. lipset.log

The log is a plain-text file that can be opened directly into word processing programs or in a plain text editor, such as Notepad. Click here to see an example.

Please note that an existing log file will not be overwritten by PCQ for Windows. Instead, if a file bearing the same name is found, PCQ for Windows will append the new material to it unless you choose, at the Final Report Dialog to replace the log file.

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Copyright 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Michael Stricklin & Ricardo Almeida (All Rights Reserved)

Last update on 09 March 2010.