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

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

Ridgeway, C. L., and L. Smith-Lovin. “Gender and Social Interaction.” Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 59, no. 3, Sept. 1996, pp. 173–75.

Mayhew, B. H., et al. “Sex and race homogeneity in naturally occurring groups.” Social Forces, vol. 74, no. 1, Jan. 1995, pp. 15–52. Scopus, doi:10.1093/sf/74.1.15. Full Text

Mayhew, Bruce, et al. “"Sex and Race Heterogeneity in Face-to-Face Groups".” Social Forces, vol. 74, 1995, pp. 15–52.

Lewis, Review of Michael, and Jeannette M. Haviland. “Handbook of Emotions (New York: Guilford, 1993).” Contemporary Sociology, vol. 24, 1995, pp. 298–300.

Robinson, D. T., et al. “Heinous crime or unfortunate accident? the effects of remorse on responses to mock criminal confessions.” Social Forces, vol. 73, no. 1, Jan. 1994, pp. 175–90. Scopus, doi:10.1093/sf/73.1.175. Full Text

Ridgeway, Cecilia. “"Structure, Culture and Interaction: A Comparison of Affect Control Theory and Expectations States Theory".” Advances in Group Processes, vol. 11, JAI Press, 1994.

Robinson, Dawn T., and Olga Tsoudis. “"Heinous Crime or Unfortunate Accident: Emotion Displays and Reactions to Vignettes of Criminal Confessions".” Social Forces, vol. 73, 1994, pp. 175–90.

Smith-Lovin, L. “Can Emotionality and Rationality be Reconciled?: A Comment on Collins, Frank, Hirshleifer, and Jasso.” Rationality and Society, vol. 5, no. 2, Jan. 1993, pp. 283–93. Scopus, doi:10.1177/1043463193005002008. Full Text

Gilbert, Edited version reprinted in G. Nigel. Researching Social Life. London: Sage, 1992.