Lynn Smith-Lovin

Lynn Smith-Lovin

Robert L. Wilson Professor Distinguished of Sociology in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

External address: 
339 Soc/Psych Bldg, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90088, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0088
(919) 660-5786


I study emotion, identity, and action. I’m interested in the basic question of how identities affect social interaction. I use experimental, observational, survey and simulation methods to describe how identities, actions and emotions are interrelated. The experiments I do usually involve creating social situations where unusual things happen to people, then seeing how they respond behaviorally or emotionally. I observe small task group interactions to see how identities influence conversational behavior. My survey work often focuses on gender and other social positions that influence the groups and networks in which people are imbedded. My simulations studies involve affect control theory, a mathematical model of how identities, actions and emotions affect one another. Now, I’m putting affect control theory together with McPherson’s ecological theory of affiliation to show how social systems, identities, and emotional experience are connected.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1978

  • M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1976

  • B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1972

Douglas, William T., and L. Smith-Lovin. “An affect control analysis of two religious subcultures.” Social Perspectives on Emotion, edited by D. Franks and V. Gecas, JAI Press, 1992, pp. 217–47.

Robinson, Dawn, and L. Smith-Lovin. “The Timing of Interruptions in Group Discussions.” Advances in Group Processes, edited by Edward J. Lawler et al., JAI Press, 1990, pp. 45–74.

Smith-Lovin, L. “"Emotion as Confirmation and Disconfirmation of Identity: An Affect Control Model.".” Research Agendas in Emotions, edited by T. D. Kemper, New York: SUNY Press, 1990, pp. 238–70.

Heise, David R., and L. Smith-Lovin. “A Structural Equation Model of Impression Formation.” Multivariate Methods in the Social Sciences, edited by Chapter in N. Hirschberg and L. Humphries, L. Erlbaum, 1982.

Bishop, Michael E., and L. Smith-Lovin. “The Young Moderns: Correlates of Communication Behavior among Appalachian (U.S.) College Students.” Der Anteil Der Massenmediem Bei Der Herausbildung Des Besussteinss In Der Sich Wanderlunden Welt, Leipzig, D.D.R.: Karl Marx Universtat, 1974, pp. 215–24.


Robinson, D. T., and L. Smith-Lovin. “Getting a laugh: Gender, status, and humor in task discussions.” Social Forces, vol. 80, no. 1, Jan. 2001, pp. 123–58. Scopus, doi:10.1353/sof.2001.0085. Full Text

Smith-Lovin, L. “Simplicity, uncertainty, and the power of generative theories.” Contemporary Sociology, vol. 29, no. 2, Jan. 2000, pp. 300–06. Scopus, doi:10.2307/2654384. Full Text

Robinson, DT, and Smith-Lovin, L. "Emotion display as a strategy for identity negotiation." MOTIVATION AND EMOTION 23.2 (June 1999): 73-104. Full Text

Ridgeway, C. L., and L. Smith-Lovin. “The gender system and interaction.” Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 25, Jan. 1999, pp. 191–216. Scopus, doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.25.1.191. Full Text

Smith-Lovin, L. “Core concepts and common ground: The relational basis of our discipline.” Social Forces, vol. 78, no. 1, Jan. 1999, pp. 1–23. Scopus, doi:10.1093/sf/78.1.1. Full Text

Ridgeway, Cecilia, and L. Smith-Lovin. “Interaction in the gender system: Theory and research.” Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 25, Jan. 1999, pp. 191–216.

Tsoudis, O., and L. Smith-Lovin. “How bad was it? The effects of victim and perpetrator emotion on responses to criminal court vignettes.” Social Forces, vol. 77, no. 2, Jan. 1998, pp. 695–722. Scopus, doi:10.1093/sf/77.2.695. Full Text

Tsoudis, Olga, and L. Smith-Lovin. “How Bad Was It? Identity and Emotion Display in Mock Jury Deliberations.” Social Forces, vol. 77, 1998, pp. 695–722.

Munch, A., et al. “Gender, children, and social contact: The effects of childrearing for men and women.” American Sociological Review, vol. 62, no. 4, Jan. 1997, pp. 509–20. Scopus, doi:10.2307/2657423. Full Text

Smith-Lovin, L. “Review- Symbolic Interactionism as Affect Control (SUNY, 1994) by Neil MacKinnon.” Social Forces, vol. 75, 1997, pp. 1489–91.