How the Intention to Share Can Undermine Enjoyment: Photo-Taking Goals and Evaluation of Experiences

75 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2018 Last revised: 9 Feb 2018

See all articles by Alixandra Barasch

Alixandra Barasch

New York University

Gal Zauberman

Yale

Kristin Diehl

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Date Written: January 30, 2018

Abstract

People often share their experiences with others who were not originally present, which provides them with both personal and interpersonal benefits. However, most prior work on this form of sharing has examined the decision to share one’s experience only after the experience is over. We investigate a distinct, unexplored aspect of the sharing process: when the decision to share is already salient during an experience and hence can impact the experience itself. We examine this research question within the context of photo-taking, an increasingly ubiquitous and integral part of people’s experiences. Across two field and three laboratory studies, we find that relative to taking pictures for oneself (e.g., to preserve one’s memories), taking pictures with the intention to share them with others (e.g., to post on social media) reduces enjoyment of experiences. This effect occurs because taking photos with the intention to share increases self-presentational concern during the experience, which can reduce enjoyment directly, as well as indirectly by lowering engagement with the experience. We identify several factors that moderate the effect of photo-taking goals on enjoyment, such as individual differences in the extent to which individuals care about how others perceive them and the closeness of the intended audience.

Keywords: sharing, experiences, enjoyment, photo-taking, goals, self-presentation

Suggested Citation

Barasch, Alixandra and Zauberman, Gal and Diehl, Kristin, How the Intention to Share Can Undermine Enjoyment: Photo-Taking Goals and Evaluation of Experiences (January 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3113448 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3113448

Alixandra Barasch (Contact Author)

New York University ( email )

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

Gal Zauberman

Yale ( email )

165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Kristin Diehl

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

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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