Quality & Quantity

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 523–537

Overly ambitious critics and the Medici Effect: a reply to Kampen and Tamás

  • Steven R. Brown
  • Stentor Danielson
  • Job van Exel

DOI: 10.1007/s11135-014-0007-x

Cite this article as:
Brown, S.R., Danielson, S. & van Exel, J. Qual Quant (2015) 49: 523. doi:10.1007/s11135-014-0007-x


The critical audit of Q methodology by Kampen and Tamás contains many errors of fact and understanding—indeed, a resistance to understanding that is compared to the Medicis’ stance toward Galileo. Following a brief historical summary of similar ill-advised critiques of Q methodology in the 80 years since its introduction, responses are presented to various of the points raised: on the nature of subjectivity, the universe of subjective communicability (concourse) and samples drawn from it, the role of factor analysis and factor interpretation, the forced Q-sort distribution, the ratio between the number of participants and the number of statements in the Q sample, and sources of researcher bias.


Q methodology R methodology Subjectivity Factor analysis 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven R. Brown
    • 1
  • Stentor Danielson
    • 2
  • Job van Exel
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Foundations, Leadership, and Administration, College of Education, Health, and Human ServicesKent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Geology, and the EnvironmentSlippery Rock UniversitySlippery RockUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Health Policy and Management (iBMG)Erasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

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