Brown, Steven R. (2019, November). Perspective on Egon Brunswik: Q-method. The Brunswik Society Newsletter, 34, 35-42. (Link:

This commentary on Brunswik was originally a lengthy posting on the Q-Method list almost 25 years ago (11 December 1994) and is reprinted here with only slight emendations. The essay compares the two men, born less than a year apart, whose lives in many ways ran parallel until 1955 when Brunswik ended his life. Their lives converged briefly in the early-1950s when Stephenson spent a semester at the University of California (Berkeley), where Brunswik was on the faculty, and it was Brunswik who subsequently authored a letter to the editor of the University of Chicago Press in support of the manuscript that was published in 1953 under the title The Study of Behavior: Q-technique and Its Methodology. The dust jacket to this book mentions Charles Spearman’s assessment of Stephenson as “the foremost creative statistician in the psychology of our time,” and it was Brunswik who relayed this comment in his letter to Chicago’s editor. Brunswik is of course known to those who use Q methodology as the originator of the idea of representativeness as applied to the environment, which includes the verbal environment that Q endeavors to model in Q samples.

Steven R Brown <> is emeritus professor of political science and adjunct instructor in the Program in Evaluation and Measurement in the Graduate School of Education, Health, and Human Services, Kent State University, Kent, OH (USA).

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