Performers get irritated by all the phones pointed at the stage. Kids at birthday parties get sick of smiling for their parents' cameras. But things are different for the person with the camera: they'll be happier if they take the shots than if they don't.
That's according to a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and announced Thursday. "Photo-taking increases engagement with the experience," the study said, and greater engagement means greater enjoyment.
The study examined results of hundreds of subjects in three field situations and six lab situations. The subjects were happier even when holding a bulky SLR camera that separates them from the scene, or looking down at the camera to delete photos. Taking photos of negative experiences, however, made people unhappier, the study found.
The study's authors are Kristin Diehl of the University of Southern California, Gal Zauberman of Yale University and Alixandra Barasch of the University of Pennsylvania.