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Defining Viewer Typologies: Identifying Television Channel Repertoires in Multi-Channel Television Environments
Unformatted Document Text:  10 In contrast to the P sample, the Q sample is a set of statements chosen from a larger concourse of statements. These are usually statements of opinion. However, in this study the Q sample consisted of 56 different cards containing television channel names and their logos. The inclusion of the logos seemed to trigger associative responses quickly and easily and greatly expedited the process. The cards were designed to conform with standard business card size (3.5” x 2”) the use of a manageable size also expedited the procedure. Respondents were also offered TV Guides, although it should be noted that they were infrequently used. We believe the inclusion of the channel logos on the cards provided enough of a cue to expedite the sorting processes. The 56 statements were arranged by the respondents in a process called Q sorting. The Process Q sorting is based on a forced distribution table, usually quasi-normal in structure. Respondents arrange the statements within this structure. This study used a +5 to -5 range. The cards containing the channels’ names and logos were used to complete the sorting process. The respondents were asked to sort the cards twice and write the numbers that corresponded with their choices in boxes on a grid. The first sort sought to determine viewing frequency among channels. In this sort, respondents were asked to sort the stack of 56 cards into three piles based on viewing levels of frequently, sometimes and never. We do recognize that many viewers never watch any number of channels; in this study they were instructed to rank never more subjectively. The baseline of, “Most never” was used during the instructions for this sort. By this we mean the respondents never watches this channel and never would. We also requested an answer to a follow-up question which allowed researchers to pinpoint the column where never began in the individual sorts. The second sort sought to measure affinity for different channels. Respondents were once again asked to divide the stack of 56 cards into three piles. This time the categories of favorite, neutral and least favorite were used. This allowed us to measure viewers’ affinity for different stations. This also allows us to determine whether the respondent has a predictable typology. Since the focus programming has become increasingly narrow by some media providers, we may be able to determine whether individual viewers have predictable viewing patterns in regard to station selection. In addition, by completing two sorts the researchers are able to compare respondents’ reactions to the different subjective cues. It will allow us to determine whether respondents view their favorite channels most frequently. An example of a Q scale is provided in Figure 1.0.

Authors: Reber, Bryan. and Harriss, Chandler.
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10
In contrast to the P sample, the Q sample is a set of statements chosen from a larger concourse of statements.
These are usually statements of opinion. However, in this study the Q sample consisted of 56 different cards containing
television channel names and their logos. The inclusion of the logos seemed to trigger associative responses quickly
and easily and greatly expedited the process. The cards were designed to conform with standard business card size
(3.5” x 2”) the use of a manageable size also expedited the procedure. Respondents were also offered TV Guides,
although it should be noted that they were infrequently used. We believe the inclusion of the channel logos on the
cards provided enough of a cue to expedite the sorting processes. The 56 statements were arranged by the respondents
in a process called Q sorting.
The Process
Q sorting is based on a forced distribution table, usually quasi-normal in structure. Respondents arrange the
statements within this structure. This study used a +5 to -5 range. The cards containing the channels’ names and logos
were used to complete the sorting process. The respondents were asked to sort the cards twice and write the numbers
that corresponded with their choices in boxes on a grid. The first sort sought to determine viewing frequency among
channels. In this sort, respondents were asked to sort the stack of 56 cards into three piles based on viewing levels of
frequently, sometimes and never. We do recognize that many viewers never watch any number of channels; in this
study they were instructed to rank never more subjectively. The baseline of, “Most never” was used during the
instructions for this sort. By this we mean the respondents never watches this channel and never would. We also
requested an answer to a follow-up question which allowed researchers to pinpoint the column where never began in
the individual sorts.
The second sort sought to measure affinity for different channels. Respondents were once again asked to divide
the stack of 56 cards into three piles. This time the categories of favorite, neutral and least favorite were used. This
allowed us to measure viewers’ affinity for different stations. This also allows us to determine whether the respondent
has a predictable typology. Since the focus programming has become increasingly narrow by some media providers,
we may be able to determine whether individual viewers have predictable viewing patterns in regard to station
selection. In addition, by completing two sorts the researchers are able to compare respondents’ reactions to the
different subjective cues. It will allow us to determine whether respondents view their favorite channels most
frequently. An example of a Q scale is provided in Figure 1.0.


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