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A fundamental problem in social psychology is that of relating the characteristics of persons to the social situations, small or large, in which they find themselves. Much of my research has been concerned with exploring aspects of the mutuality of person-person and person-environment relations. In developing this mutualist approach I have been drawing upon ideas from social psychology, ecological psychology, cultural psychology and pragmatist philosophy. As a result of this work, I am ever more convinced that the discipline of psychology needs to reach out to other human science disciplines in developing its concepts, theories and methods.

Together with my colleague Arthur Still I have for many years been involved in exploring the relevance of this mutualist approach to the human sciences more generally (Still & Good, 1986, 1992, 1998). I have used it in a study of the disciplinary status of social psychology exploring not only the discipline's historical development but also its mutual relations with other human sciences, especially its boundary relations with its parent disciplines, sociology and psychology (Good, 2000). This approach also has been used in attempts to extend James Gibson’s affordance notion to the perception of human social behaviour (Valenti & Good, 1991; Good, 2007) and in the exploration of social and musical co-ordination between chamber music players (Davidson and Good, 2002). This mutualist view has also underpinned my research on the history and theory of Q methodology (Good, 2003, 2010). I am currently working on a monograph on the life and work of William Stephenson, the founder of Q methodology.

Research interests

  • Theory and practice of Q methodology
  • History of the human sciences
  • Ecological approaches to cognition and distributed cognition
  • Psychology of music, especially social aspects of performance
  • Ecological social psychology, especially social affordances

Esteem Indicators

  • : Editor, Operant Subjectivity: The International Journal of Q Methodology

    Editor, History of the Human Sciences (2000-2015)

    Invited Keynote Speaker, 30th Annual Conference, European Society for the History of the Human Sciences, University of Belgrade, 2011

    Invited Speaker, Symposium on Biography and its Place in the History of Psychology and Psychiatry, UCL Centre for the History of Medicine, London, ;June 2011.

    Convenor and Chair, Panel on ‘The Role of Theory in William Stephenson’s Science of Subjectivity’. Also presented the opening paper. 27th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity, University of Birmingham, September 2011.

    Invited Paper for Symposium on ‘The Foundation of “Scientific” Psychology within the Cultural, Social, and Institutional Contexts of European and Extra-European Countries between the 19th and 20th Centuries’, 22nd International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Beijing, July, 2005.

    Invited Opening Plenary Paper, ‘The Singular Case of William Stephenson: Q Methodology, Single Case Research, and the Scientific Study of Personality’, 21st Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, October 2005.

    Chair, British Psychological Society History and Philosophy of Psychology Section (2002-2006)

    Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2001-2002)

    President, European Society for the History of the Human Sciences (1997-2002)


Chapter in book

  • Brown, S.R. & Good, J.M.M. (2010). Q Methodology. In Encyclopedia of Research Design. Salkind, N.J. Sage.
  • Good, J.M.M. (1993). Quests for Interdisciplinarity: The Rhetorical Constitution of Social Psychology. In The Recovery of Rhetoric: Persuasive Discourse and Disciplinarity in the Human Sciences. Roberts, R.H. & Good, J.M.M. The Bristol Press/University of Virginia Press.

Edited book

  • Good, J.M.M. & Velody, I. (1998). The Politics of Postmodernity. Cambridge University Press.
  • Roberts, R.H. & Good, J.M.M. (1993). The Recovery of Rhetoric: Persuasive Discourse and Disciplinarity in the Human Sciences. The Bristol Press/University of Virginia Press.

Journal Article

  • Sæbjørnsen,SEN, Ellingsen,IT, Good,JMM & Ødegård, A (2016). Combining a Naturalistic and Theoretical Q Sample Approach: An Empirical Research Illustration. Operant Subjectivity: The International Journal of Q Methodology 38(2): 15-32.
  • Good, J.M.M. (2014). Valedictory editorial. History of the Human Sciences 27(5): 3-5.
  • Harvey, H., Good, J., Mason, J. M. & Reissland, N. (2015). A Q-methodology study of parental understandings of infant immunisation: Implications for health-care advice. Journal of Health Psychology 20(11): 1451-1462.
  • Good, J.M.M. (2011). Some Contextualizing Notes on William Stephenson's 'Old Age Research'. Operant Subjectivity 34(4): 215-216.
  • Wolf, A., Good, J.M.M., Brown, S.R., Cuppen, E., Ockwell, D. & Watts, S. (2011). Q Methodology and its Applications: Reflections on Theory. Operant Subjectivity 34: 48-71.
  • Good, J.M.M. (2010). Introduction to William Stephenson's Quest for a Science of Subjectivity. Psychoanalysis and History 12(2): 211-243.
  • Richards, J., Papworth, M., Corbett, S. & Good, J.M.M. (2007). Adolescent motherhood: A Q-methodological re-evaluation of psychological and social outcomes. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology 17: 347-362.
  • Good, J.M.M. (2007). The affordances for social psychology of the ecological approach to social knowing. Theory and Psychology 17(2): 265-295.
  • Good, J.M.M. (2003). William Stephenson, Quantum Theory, and Q Methodology. Operant Subjectivity 26(4): 140-152.
  • Davidson, Jane W. & Good, J.M.M. (2002). Social and Musical Co-ordination between Members of a String Quartet: An Exploratory Study. Psychology of Music 30(2): 186-201.
  • Good, J.M.M. (2002). On the 'Unsettling of Social Psychology': An End to the 'Crises' of Social Psychology? History and Philosophy of Psychology 4(1): 84-92.
  • Good J.M.M. (2000). Disciplining social psychology: a case study of boundary relations in the history of the human sciences. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 36(4): 383-403.
  • Good J.M.M. (2000). William Stephenson and the Post World War II Bifurcation of British Psychology. Operant Subjectivity 23(3): 116-130.
  • Crawley, R.A., Good, J.M.M., Still, A.W. & Valenti, S. Stavros (2000). The Perception of Sex from Complex Body Movement in Young Children. Ecological Psychology 12(3): 231-240.
  • Good J.M.M. & Still, A. (1998). The Ontology of Mutualism. Ecological Psychology 10(1): 39-63.
  • Good J.M.M., Aggleton, J.P., Kentridge, R.W. & Barker, J.G.M. (1997). Measuring Musical Aptitude in Children: on the role of age, handedness, scholastic achievement, and socioeconomic status. Psychology of Music 25: 57-69.
  • Aggleton, John P., Kentridge, Robert W. & Good, J.M.M. (1994). Handedness and Musical Ability: A Study of Professional Orchestral Players, Composers, and Choir Members. Psychology of Music 22(2): 148-156.
  • Good,J.M.M. & Still,A.W. (1992). Mutualism in the Human Sciences: Towards the Implementation of a Theory. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 22: 105-128.