Funded PhD Research

Alixandra Barasch

Gaining or Losing Focus? How Photo-Taking Affects Consumer Experiences

Marketing Department; Faculty Adviser: Gal Zauberman

Despite the increasing centrality of photo-taking in our daily lives, little work has studied the effects of photo-taking on consumer experiences. While some companies claim that taking photos ruins people’s consumption experiences (and have banned cameras as a result), others encourage consumers to take photos during their experiences.

This project seeks to answer the question of how photo-taking actually affects enjoyment during these experiences. In a series of laboratory studies, we developed a unique computer interface that simulates a consumer retail experience in the lab (e.g., a travel adventure). Results from these studies suggest that photo-taking actually heightens engagement, which for positive experiences results in increased enjoyment.

Our next goal in this project is to confirm the real-world relevance of our findings by partnering with a company in Philadelphia. We propose a “yoked” research design in which we will recruit individuals in pairs and then randomly assign people to take photos (or not). After the experience, we will ask each individual to rate how much they enjoyed the experience, how satisfied they are with the company, and whether they would be willing to recommend the experience to a friend. We predict that the benefits consumers receive from taking photos will spill over into company evaluations and improve brand perceptions.


Publications, Presentations, & Awards


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

Barasch, Alixandra, Gal Zauberman and Kristin Diehl (2017), “How the Intention to Share Can Undermine Enjoyment: Photo-Taking Goals and Evaluation of
Experiences,” Journal of Consumer Research, published online Nov 2017,
forthcoming issue. article/doi/10.1093/jcr/ucx112/4627834



When Happiness Shared is Happiness Halved: How Taking Photos to Share with Others Affects Experiences and Memories,” Association for Consumer Research, Baltimore (October 2014)

How Photo-taking Goals Affect Enjoyment of Experiences,” Society for Consumer Psychology, Phoenix (February 2015)


Winner of the Society for Consumer Psychology Dissertation Proposal Competition, 2015