UA represented at major scientific conference

By Spencer Skolnick, Writer

The University of Akron’s chapter of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity (ISSSS) met other participants in Salt Lake City for the 30th annual Q Conference.

Along with the team representing Akron, approximately 60 to 70 other international and national advocates for the Q methodology attended. Susan Ramlo, advisor to the group event leader and coordinator of the 2010 ISSSS, and other members of the program attended this event.

The process of the Q methodology is a tool used for studying research conducted in surveys. It allows those who compare the statistics to sort and group the results showing different viewpoints and gaining a better understanding of the information they collected. Rather than searching for an average among the results they obtain, the Q methodologists look to acquire more information on each answer in order to retrieve results that give all participants involved a say in the overall consensus.

Throughout the weekend at the conference in Salt Lake City, attendees presented and observed various researchers from either university programs or independent studies. They also discussed the ways in which they’ve used the Q method to advance their research and prove different experiences this method has benefitted their studies. Discussing the approach these researchers took to use the Q method to focus subjectively in their studies, the presenters illustrated how they achieved better results than they could attain through other forms of researching methods.

This was Ramlo’s 11th conference and she used this event as an opportunity to compare results and advice with other Q methodologists, discussing stories of research and experiences teaching this tool for better understanding and surveying results.

“You get a chance, not only to hear about other people’s research and their Q methodology. That’s always interesting. But you also get to hang out and talk to other faculty,” said Ramlo.

Next year the teams plan to meet in Italy. Until then, Ramlo and the ISSSS participants will continue to work on their studies using this personalized form of research.