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Westminster College Faculty Present at Scientific Study of Subjectivity Annual Meeting

Monday, September 17, 2012

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Dr. James Rhoads, professor of political science, served as Conference Host for the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity 28th Annual Meeting Sept. 5-8 in Pittsburgh, and Dr. Timothy Cuff, associate professor of history, delivered the keynote address.

Rhoads welcomed roughly 90 delegates, from various academic disciplines, to the four day conference, which focused on research using Q Methodology.  Q Methodology was invented by the British physicist/psychologist William Stephenson (1902-1989), and is a means by which the subjective can be systematically studied.

In addition to hosting the conference, Rhoads presented "Finding Structure in the Sitcom about Nothing." Rhoads used Q Methodology to reveal the structure of opinion of audience members who had just witnessed an episode of "Seinfeld."  The study revealed two segments of opinion revolving around the plots of this particular episode.  The presentation was part of a panel on "Popular Culture and Q Methodology."

Rhoads, who joined the Westminster faculty in 1992, earned an undergraduate degree, master's degree, and Ph.D. from Kent State University.

Cuff presented "'From Hell with the Lid Taken Off' to 'America's Most Livable City': A Brief and Selective History of Pittsburgh, 'City at the Point.'" Cuff's presentation gave the group a history of the city and the region highlighting the manner in which the region's geography and natural resource endowments have influenced economic, social and political developments.

Cuff, a Westminster College graduate who joined the faculty in 2000, earned a master's degree from Bowling Green State University and master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Presenters and attendees at the conference were from all over the world, including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. The International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity will meet again next year in Amsterdam.

Contact Rhoads at (724) 946-7255 or email for more information.

Dr. James Rhoads, professor of political science
Dr. Timothy Cuff, associate professor of history