Taking photos increases travel experience

By Andrew Hudson Published: June 6, 2016 Updated: August 8, 2016

With possibly the first research paper on photography and travel, researchers conclude that “taking pictures heightens engagement and enjoyment.”

“Across studies, we find consistent evidence that photo-taking heightens enjoyment of positive experiences in a variety of real-life situations, such as taking part in an actual city bus tour, eating a midweek lunch, and visiting a museum. ... Further, we show that it is the mental process people adopt while taking photos, rather than the photo-taking mechanics, that triggers greater engagement and thus increases enjoyment.”

“it is not the mechanical process of taking photos that increases enjoyment, but the mental process associated with capturing the experience in photos (e.g., planning which photos to take).”

The report, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, is called How Taking Photos Increases Enjoyment of Experiences, authored by Kristin Diehl (University of Southern California), Gal Zauberman (Yale University) and Alixandra Barasch (University of Pennsylvania).

“taking photos ... actually focuses attention onto the experience, particularly on aspects of the experience worth capturing. As a result, photo-taking leads people to become more engaged with the experience.”

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