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

Robinson, D. "“Selective interaction as a strategy for identity maintenance: An affect control model.”." Social Psychology Quarterly 55 (1992): 12-28. (Academic Article)

Brody, CJ. ""Interruptions in Group Discussions: The Effects of Gender and Group Composition."." American Sociological Review 54 (1989): 424-35. (Academic Article)

Smith-Lovin, L. ""Affect, Sentiment and Emotion."." Social Psychology Quarterly 52 (1989): 5-9.

Smith-Lovin, L. "Impressions from events." The Journal of Mathematical Sociology 13.1-2 (December 1, 1987): 35-70. Full Text

Smith-Lovin, L. "The affective control of events within settings." The Journal of Mathematical Sociology 13.1-2 (December 1, 1987): 71-101. Full Text

Smith-Lovin, L. "Affect control theory: An assessment." The Journal of Mathematical Sociology 13.1-2 (December 1, 1987): 171-192. Full Text

McPherson, JM, and Smith-Lovin, L. "Homophily in voluntary organizations: status distance and the composition of face-to-face groups." American Sociological Review 52.3 (January 1, 1987): 370-379. Full Text

McPherson, JM. ""Homophily in Voluntary Organizations."." American Sociological Review 52 (1987): 370-79. (Academic Article)

Smith-Lovin, L, Skvoretz, JV, and Hudson, CG. "Status and participation in six-person groups: A test of skvoretz’s comparative status model." Social Forces 64.4 (January 1, 1986): 992-1005. Full Text

McPherson, JM. ""Sex Segregation in Voluntary Associations."." American Sociological Review 51 (1986): 61-79. (Academic Article)