Contradictions and Consensus — Clusters of Opinions on E-books
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Q methodology was used to determine attitudes and opinions about e-books among a group of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates at Miami University of Ohio. Oral interviews formed the basis for a collection of opinion statements concerning e-books versus print. These statements were then ranked by a second group of research participants. Factor analysis of these rankings found four distinct factors that reveal clusters of opinions on e-books: Book Lovers, Technophiles, Pragmatists, and Printers. Two of the four factors take a more ideological approach in their understanding of e-books: Book Lovers have an emotional attachment to the printed book as an object, while Technophiles feel just as strongly about technology. In contrast, the other two factors are more utilitarian: Printers might find e-books more palatable if usability were improved, while Pragmatists are comfortable with both print and e-book formats.