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Literature Review

Can Taking Pictures Help One's Experience? by Nikki Fogarty

When people experience something new, or something that they don’t do quite often, they tend to take pictures. We all tend to do this, but have you ever sat back to think, does taking this picture have an effect on my experience, or does it affect my enjoyment of the event? Three researchers, Diehl, Zuberman, and Barasch, wanted to conduct a study in order to answer this very question. They thoroughly tested this by conducting nine different studies. Each study they ran was similar in the fact that one group was able to take pictures of what they were experiencing and the other group was not able to take pictures. The differences between the studies were the things that they were experiencing also there were other conditions that played a role in the studies. For example, in the most basic study, two groups experienced a bus tour. One of the groups got to take photos of their experience and the other did not get to take photos. One of the more complex study that was done had four groups. A group that can take pictures, a group that cannot, a group that had a medium interference, and a group that had a high interference, while taking a bus tour of France. In both of these studies, along with the other seven that were conducted, the researchers found that when participants were able to take photos of what they experienced, they enjoyed it more and they were more engaged. They further found that the more photos that were taken resulted in the participants being more engaged in the experience. Overall, the take away from this study is that if you ever were worried that you were losing out because of the fact that you were stopping to take pictures, don't! Instead snap away and keep enjoying!


Media Usage and its Effect on Memory by Melanie Paul Austin

Think back to an exciting vacation or important moment that you have experienced. If you feel as though you're missing a detail from this moment, do you use pictures you took to jog your memory? Or are these pictures the explanation for the gap in memory? Researchers Tamir, Templeton, Ward, & Zaki set out to answer these questions through a three-part study that tested how media impacted memory of experiences. In this study, media was defined as taking pictures with or without the intent to share them to one’s Facebook account. In the study, participants took a tour of Stanford University's Memorial Church. They were each assigned to one of three conditions: no picture taking, picture taking without sharing to Facebook, picture taking with requirement to share to Facebook. After they took the tour, participants completed a survey of ten surprise memory and multiple- choice questions about their experience. The results from the study showed that those who used no media had significantly bette r memory for their experience than the other two conditions. However, those who were required to share their pictures had better memory scores than those who didn't share their photos. This may be evidence that intent to share increases importance and memory of an experience. In addition, it is possible that those who took no pictures had better scores of memory because they knew there would be no pictures to look back on to help remember the tour. An interesting quote from the authors is, “Creating a hard copy of an experience through media leaves only a diminished copy in our own heads”. It is important to realize that the ways in which we use media can change our memory of an experience, mostly in relation to how we wish to retrieve the memory. If you're someone who enjoys taking pictures and looking back on them to remember your extraordinary experience, then keep snapping!


Successfully Striving for Happiness By Nikki Fogarty

Have you ever sat back and thought about how happy you truly were with your life? Maybe thought about how satisfied you were with where you were at? Or even thought about how you could make your life better? Five researchers (Rohrer, Richter, Brummer, Wagner, & Schmuklue)  decided that they were going to conduct a survey in order to answer these very questions and determine how to successfully strive for happiness. They created a two part study, which took place over two years where over 6,000 participants completed their respected parts over computer-assisted personal interviews. Participants were initially asked how satisfied they were with their life (conducted on a 10 point likert scale) followed by if they thought their life satisfaction would be in a year. Participants that expressed that their life satisfaction would decrease were then asked additional questions about what they can do in the future in order to increase their life satisfaction. After a year had passed the participants were asked to complete the same questions they previously did and they compared the results. Results found that when participants had no plan on how to increase their life satisfaction, rather than having a plan, they were happier with their life after a year. They also found that when people came up with a socially engaged strategy, in comparison to a non socially engaged strategy they were happier with their life as well. Overall the takeaway from this survey is when to try to make yourself happier, don’t have a set plan in place because it’ll only disappoint you more, and make sure to be socially engaged, because it will make you happier in the long run!