How Taking Photos Increases Enjoyment of Experiences

Diehl, Kristin, Gal Zauberman and Alixandra Barasch (2016), “How Taking Photos Increases the Enjoyment of Experiences,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Volume 111, Issue 2 (Aug), p. 119-140

74 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2016

See all articles by Kristin Diehl

Kristin Diehl

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Gal Zauberman

Yale

Alixandra Barasch

New York University

Date Written: April 4, 2016

Abstract

Experiences are vital to the lives and well-being of people; hence, understanding the factors that amplify or dampen enjoyment of experiences is important. One such factor is photo-taking, which has gone unexamined by prior research even as it has become ubiquitous. We identify engagement as a relevant process that influences whether photo-taking will increase or decrease enjoyment. Across three field and six lab experiments, we find that taking photos enhances enjoyment of positive experiences across a range of contexts and methodologies. This occurs when photo-taking increases engagement with the experience, which is less likely when the experience itself is already highly engaging, or when photo-taking interferes with the experience. As further evidence of an engagement-based process, we show that photo-taking directs greater visual attention to aspects of the experience likely to be photographed. Lastly, we also find that this greater engagement due to photo-taking results in worse evaluations of negative experiences.

Keywords: Photos, Photography, Experiences, Enjoyment, Engagement

JEL Classification: M31, M30, L83

Suggested Citation

Diehl, Kristin and Zauberman, Gal and Barasch, Alixandra, How Taking Photos Increases Enjoyment of Experiences (April 4, 2016). Diehl, Kristin, Gal Zauberman and Alixandra Barasch (2016), “How Taking Photos Increases the Enjoyment of Experiences,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Volume 111, Issue 2 (Aug), p. 119-140. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2891101

Kristin Diehl (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Gal Zauberman

Yale ( email )

165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Alixandra Barasch

New York University ( email )

40 W. 4th St.
New York, NY 10012
United States

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