Lynn Smith-Lovin

Lynn Smith-Lovin

Robert L. Wilson Professor 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

Bishop, ME, and Smith-Lovin, L. "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. 215-24.


Tsoudis, O, and Smith-Lovin, L. "Criminal identity: The key to situational construals in mock criminal court cases." Sociological Spectrum 21.1 (January 1, 2001): 3-31. Full Text

Smith-Lovin, L. "Simplicity, uncertainty, and the power of generative theories." Contemporary Sociology 29.2 (January 1, 2000): 300-306. 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, and Smith-Lovin, L. "Interaction in the gender system: Theory and research." Annual Review of Sociology 25 (January 1999): 191-216.

Smith-Lovin, L. "Core concepts and common ground: The relational basis of our discipline." Social Forces 78.1 (January 1, 1999): 1-23. Full Text

Ridgeway, CL, and Smith-Lovin, L. "The gender system and interaction." Annual Review of Sociology 25 (January 1, 1999): 191-216. Full Text

Tsoudis, O, and Smith-Lovin, L. "How bad was it? The effects of victim and perpetrator emotion on responses to criminal court vignettes." Social Forces 77.2 (January 1, 1998): 695-722. Full Text

Tsoudis, O, and Smith-Lovin, L. "How Bad Was It? Identity and Emotion Display in Mock Jury Deliberations." Social Forces 77 (1998): 695-722.

Munch, A, McPherson, JM, and Smith-Lovin, L. "Gender, children, and social contact: The effects of childrearing for men and women." American Sociological Review 62.4 (January 1, 1997): 509-520. Full Text

Smith-Lovin, L. "Review- Symbolic Interactionism as Affect Control (SUNY, 1994) by Neil MacKinnon." Social Forces 75 (1997): 1489-91. (Review)