# Chapter 8 Q Methodology

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Q methodology and deliberative democracy share epistemological and normative roots in American pragmatism: that meaning is intersubjective, that communication is human action and that we can – and should – reach some mutual understanding on the objective and moral world, even if contingent and preliminary. This study illustrates and explores how this common legacy makes Q methodology and and deliberative democracy are a good fit for political psychology. On the one hand, deliberation posits the regulative ideal under which individuals can freely constitute and express their political subjectivity: a mutual and egalitarian give-and-take of reasons. On the other hand, Q may serve to measure the quality of deliberation, occupying a sweet spot between quantitatively constrained interpretations for researchers and qualitative leeway for citizens’ viewpoints: increased consistency or structuration of Q sorts might be falsifiable meta-standards without substantive (and circular) prejudice as to which one viewpoint would be “deliberative”. The study concludes by suggesting further extensions and applications of Q methodology and deliberative democracy.

Factorial Concourse Sampling Scheme
Values / Axiology Beliefs / Ontology Preferences / Taxes
General
Efficiency Individuals vs Groups Corporate Tax
“Actions are good if consequences are good”. “People are motivated by incentives”. “Unfettered markets”.
Specific
What makes a tax desirable? What makes a tax doable? Which tax do we want?
“A good tax gets at the yield to capital”. “A doable tax is a withholding tax.” “Corporate Income Tax”.