She was born in Czechoslovakia and studied philosophy and psychology at Charles University in Prague. In 1967 she moved to the United Kingdom. She initially worked as Research Fellow at Industrial Training Research Unit, University of London (1968–70) before moving to the University of Stirling from which she retired in 2003 as an Emeritus Professor.
Her main theoretical research interests are the ontology and epistemology of theory in social psychology, and the interdependence between social thinking, dialogue and semiotics. Empirical research concerns social representations of democracy, individualism and responsibility in post communist Europe and the study of dialogues between people with impaired speech and their partners.