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Craig A. Smith

Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development
Investigator, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development

Professor Smith's research centers on the relationships among cognition, emotion, and adaptation, broadly defined. Topics investigated include the role of cognitive appraisal in the differentiation of emotion, the psychophysiology of appraisal and emotion, the cognitive processes underlying appraisal, and the role of emotion and coping in long-term adaptation in stress. Current laboratory efforts focus on the differentiation of positive emotional experience and the motivational functions served by different emotions, whereas more applied collaborative efforts are examining the roles of emotion and coping in long-term adaptation to chronic health conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and children's recurrent abdominal pain.

Representative Publications

  • Yih, J., Kirby, L. D., & Smith, C. A.  (2020).  Profiles of appraisal, motivation, and behavior for positive emotions.  Cognition and Emotion, 34, 481-497.  DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2019.1646212
  • Smith, C. A., Tong, E. M. W., & Ellsworth, P. C. (2014).  The differentiation of positive emotional experience as viewed through the lens of appraisal theory.  In Tugade, M., Shiota, M. & Kirby, L. D. (Eds.), The Handbook of Positive Emotions (pp. 11-27).  New York:  Guilford.
  • Shirkey, K. C., Smith, C. A., & Walker, L. S.  (2011).  Dispositional versus episode-specific assessment of children’s coping with pain.  Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 36, 74-83. DOI:  10.1093/jpepsy/jsq058
  • Smith, C. A., & Kirby, L. D. (2011).  The role of appraisal and emotion in coping and adaptation.  In R. J. Contrada & A. Baum (Eds.).  Handbook of Stress Science:  Biology, Psychology, and Health (pp. 195-208).  New York:  Springer.
  • Smith, C. A. & Kirby, L. D. (2009).  Putting appraisal in context:  Toward a relational model of appraisal and emotion.  Cognition and Emotion, 23, 1352-1372.
  • Smith, C. A. & Kirby L. D.  (2009). Relational antecedents of appraised problem-focused coping potential and its associated emotions.  Cognition and Emotion, 23, 481-503.
  • Walker, L. S., Baber, K. F., Garber, J., & Smith, C. A.  (2008).  A typology of pain coping strategies in patients with chronic abdominal pain. Pain, 137,266-275.
  • Smith, C. A., Wallston, K. A., Dwyer, K. A., & Dowdy, S. W.  (1997).  Beyond good and bad coping:  A multidimensional examination of coping with pain in persons with rheumatoid arthritis.  Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 19, 11-21.
  • Pecchinenda, A. & Smith, C.A. (1996). The motivational significance of skin conductance activity during a difficult problem-solving task. Cognition and Emotion, 10, 481-503.
  • Smith, C.A. & Lazarus, R.S. (1990). Emotion and adaptation. In L. A. Pervin (Ed.), Handbook of personality theory and research (pp. 609-637). New York: Guilford.
  • Smith, C. A., & Ellsworth, P. C.  (1985).  Patterns of cognitive appraisal in emotion.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 813-838.  DOI:  10.1037/0022-3514.48.4.813