Lynn Smith-Lovin

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

External Address: 
348A 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


Wilson, KL, and Smith-Lovin, L. "Scaling the prestige, authority, and income potential of college curricula." Social Science Research 12.2 (January 1, 1983): 159-186. Full Text

McPherson, JM. ""Women and Weak Ties: Differences by Sex in the Size of Voluntary Organizations."." American Journal of Sociology 87 (1982): 883-904. (Academic Article)

Tickamyer, AR. ""Models of Women’s Work and Fertility"." American Sociological Review 47 (1982): 461-66. (Academic Article)

Szinovacz, ROM. "Women’s Retirement: Policy Implications of Recent Research, Vol. 6." Sage Yearbooks in Women’s Policy Studies. (1982). (Review)

Heise, DR. ""Impressions of Goodness, Powerfulness and Liveliness from Discerned Social Events."." Social Psychology Quarterly 44 (1981): 93-106. (Academic Article)

Rokeach, ROM. "Understanding Human Values, Individual and Societal." Social Forces 59 (1981): 1330-32. (Review)

Smith-Lovin, L, and Wilson, KL. "On the Practical Value of Causal Modeling II. Educational Attainment and the Measurement of Conceptual Variables." The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 16.4 (October 1980): 547-565. Full Text

Smith-Lovin, L. "Individual Political Participation: The Effects of Social Structure and Communication Behavior." Sociological Perspectives 22.1 (January 1, 1979): 23-50. Full Text