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. sharing, experiences, enjoyment, photo taking, goals, self-presentation From vacations and holidays to funny moments with their children, people often share their experiences with others who were not originally present. Because experiences define people as individuals and affect their life satisfaction (Carter and Gilovich 2012; Van Boven and Gilovich 2003), sharing them with others benefits them in various ways. For instance, engaging in these sharing behaviors with others who were not there can boost people’s mood and enhance their sense of meaning (Lambert et al. 2013; Reis et al. 2010). Most of the work on sharing experiences with others has examined situations in which the sharing occurs only after the experience has ended. Yet people often anticipate sharing an experience while the experience is unfolding. Accordingly, the sharing goal may be salient during the experience and therefore directly affect the experience itself. The current research investigates this distinct and unexplored aspect of sharing: how might consumers’ salient intentions to share an experience in the future affect their enjoyment of that experience in the present? We investigate this research question in the context of photo taking: how does taking photos with the intention to share them later influence consumers’ enjoyment of an experience? With advances in technology, photo sharing has become nearly ubiquitous. For example, photo sharing is one of the most common activities on Facebook, with over 350 million photos uploaded every day (Smith 2016). Further, over 70 million photos are posted each day on the photo-sharing platform Instagram, which recently hit 700 million active users, outpacing micro-blogging site Twitter in both size and growth of its user base (Instagram Press 2017; Kharpal 2015). This explosion in the prevalence of photo sharing makes it increasingly likely that it will impact a wide range of everyday thoughts and behaviors. Yet, because most research on sharing experiences has focused on verbal or written communication, sharing experiences via photos is not well understood. Across two field and three laboratory studies, we find that when the intention to share photos with others is salient during the experience, it decreases consumers’ enjoyment of that experience, relative to taking photos to preserve memories for the self. This decrease occurs because taking photos to share involves the prospect of being evaluated or judged by others, increasing self-presentational concern. We identify several factors that alter the effect of photo-taking goals on enjoyment by affecting the extent of self-presentational concern, such as individuals’ propensity to care about how they are perceived by others and the closeness of their intended audience. We also find that besides reducing enjoyment directly, self-presentational concern can also diminish enjoyment indirectly by reducing engagement with the experience. Importantly, in this article we do not examine utility from post-experiential aspects of photo taking or sharing (e.g., utility from others’ reactions to the photos), but instead isolate how these two photo-taking goals (sharing with others vs. preserving memories for the self) affect the hedonic utility people derive from the experience itself. In other words, even though sharing photos may provide additional utility at a later point, when actual sharing occurs (e.g., by triggering emotions such as pride or joy), we focus on how the intention to share can affect enjoyment during the experience. Thus, unlike previous work that documents how sharing after an experience can benefit consumers, this article highlights how the intention to share can negatively affect consumers in advance of any actual sharing behavior. SHARING EXPERIENCES Experiences are the building blocks of people’s lives, and are essential to their well-being. Indeed, people spend significant time and money engaging in experiences, both ordinary and extraordinary (Bhattacharjee and Mogilner 2014). One reason experiences are so central to well-being is that they are often shared with others, thus contributing to the value and happiness humans derive from their social relationships (Leary and Baumeister 2000; Myers 2000). Sharing experiences can happen in two ways. First, people can participate in experiences jointly with others. Experiencing an event with another person (vs. alone) can heighten enjoyment of that experience by facilitating social belonging and connection (Ramanathan and McGill 2007). Second, people can tell others who were not present about their experiences. Telling others about an experience after it has ended can boost people’s positive affect and sense of meaning (Lambert et al. 2013; Langston 1994), their satisfaction with the experience (Gilovich, Kumar, and Jampol 2015), and their feelings of closeness and trust with their audience (Beike, Brandon, and Cole 2016; Reis et al. 2010). Our article examines sharing with people not originally present, and focuses on the anticipation of future sharing. Though actual sharing may bring people additional utility after an experience has ended, to the best of our knowledge, no prior work has examined how the salience of a sharing goal might impact enjoyment of the experience itself. While there are many ways to share experiences with others, we focus on photo taking because its features are well suited to investigate this unexplored side of the sharing process. First, compared to sharing an experience in other ways (e.g., recounting it verbally), sharing photographs requires an action (i.e., taking photos) while the experience unfolds. Thus, the act of photo taking should make whatever goal is driving that act particularly salient during the experience. Second, photos provide others with specific, concrete details of the experience that may be both difficult to communicate verbally and less subject to reinterpretation or easy alteration (e.g., a photo taken during a rainy afternoon is difficult to present as a photo from a beautiful sunny day). These characteristics make photo taking an ideal context to examine our conceptual framework. Despite the unique features and increasing prominence of taking and sharing photographs, very little work has examined its psychological consequences. Some recent work has shown that the act of photo taking can alter evaluations and memories of an experience compared to not taking photos at all (Barasch et al. 2017; Diehl, Zauberman, and Barasch 2016). In contrast, our objective in this article is to isolate how the goals driving photo-taking behavior affect enjoyment of an experience, conditional on photos being taken. We thus compare the effects of an intention to share photos to another prevalent goal: the desire to preserve and protect future memories by taking actions in the present (Elster and Loewenstein 1992; Keinan and Kivetz 2011; Zauberman, Ratner, and Kim 2009). These two goals account for the overwhelming majority of reasons why people take photos across a wide range of experiences (over 85%; see web appendix study A). Moreover, this distinction (taking photos to share vs. for the self) corresponds with established typologies suggesting that the value consumers derive from experience is either self-oriented (i.e., one’s personal response to an experience) or other-oriented (i.e., how others respond to one’s experience; Holbrook 2006). Thus, photo taking for oneself provides a natural comparison with photo taking to share with others. Accordingly, our studies always involve photo taking across all conditions, allowing us to hold constant any effects of photo taking itself, such as positive effects from engagement (Diehl et al. 2016) or potential negative effects from distraction (Craik et al. 1996). By manipulating only which photo-taking goal is salient in people’s minds during the experience, we isolate how anticipated sharing versus memory preservation differentially affects enjoyment of an experience, providing a more nuanced examination of the effects of photo taking. CURRENT RESEARCH To assess people’s beliefs about how these two primary photo-taking goals might affect enjoyment of an experience, we asked 200 online respondents (48% female, 18 to 65 years, mean age = 34.6 years) for their intuitions. Approximately 20% thought that taking photos to share with others would increase current enjoyment compared to taking photos for themselves, while 18.5% thought that taking photos for themselves would lead to greater enjoyment. The remaining 61.5% believed that these photo-taking goals would have no impact on their enjoyment. These results demonstrate that people have conflicting intuitions about the effect of photo-taking goals, consistent with findings that people are often unable to anticipate how various factors will influence their utility from experiences (Kahneman and Snell 1992; Wilson and Gilbert 2005). Our research systematically tests the effects of these photo-taking goals on consumers’ experienced enjoyment. One possibility is that consumers with a sharing goal gain utility in the present from anticipating their future sharing behavior after the experience (Lambert et al. 2013; Reis et al. 2010), thus increasing enjoyment of the experience itself. Similarly, because the positive affect associated with realizing one’s sharing goal in the future might transfer to the actions associated with pursuing this goal in the present (i.e., taking photos; Fishbach, Shah, and Kruglanski 2004), these actions could result in greater current enjoyment. Despite these potential positive effects of anticipated sharing, we hypothesize that taking photos with the intention to share will induce self-presentational concern and generate disutility, thus actually decreasing enjoyment of the current experience. In general, people are motivated to present themselves to others in a favorable light (Goffman 1959). Social interactions inherently involve the prospect of being evaluated or judged by others in ways that can influence future outcomes (Leary and Kowalski 1990; Schlenker and Leary 1982). As a result, social situations often increase people’s concerns with self-presentation, or their desire to control the way they appear to real or imagined audiences (Schlenker 1980; Tedeschi 1981). We predict that taking photos with the goal of sharing them with others may lead people to anticipate how this audience will perceive them. As a result, the objective to share one’s photos may increase self-presentational concern. Though self-presentational concern may be particularly pronounced when people are featured in the photo themselves, even sharing pictures that do not include the self or that are not inherently social (e.g., a mountain view during a solitary hike) might trigger such concern. Indeed, any type of photo can convey information about an individual that others might evaluate, thus activating the self-presentational motive of communicating desired identities to others (Gollwitzer 1986; Leary and Kowalski 1990). Consistent with this notion, people spend substantial time and effort curating their presence on social media, and are frequently worried about managing their impressions in these contexts (Gonzales and Hancock 2011; Manago et al. 2008). Hence, we expect that when people take photos to share with others, especially more distant others whose evaluations may be more subject to change, they will experience greater self-presentational concern than when taking photos to preserve their own memories, which tends to be more private and less likely to evoke concerns of evaluation by others. How might self-presentational concern affect people’s evaluations of their experiences? We propose two potential paths that might influence current enjoyment. First, self-presentational concern is an inherently negative state that might directly decrease enjoyment of an experience. Indeed, concern about conveying a favorable self-image to others often conflicts with maximizing one’s own satisfaction (Ariely and Levav 2000; Mackie and Goethals 1987). Moreover, self-presentational concern is often associated with pressure to make a good impression and self-conscious emotions such as anxiety (Leary 2007; Miller 1992). Thus, these negative self-conscious emotions and heightened self-awareness may directly reduce hedonic enjoyment (Diener 1979). Second, self-presentational concern might also reduce enjoyment indirectly, by decreasing engagement or involvement with an experience (Csikszentmihalyi 1997; Higgins 2006). Self-presentational concern that arises from considering how others will evaluate one’s photos may decrease pleasurable immersion in the experience itself, thus reducing enjoyment (Csikszentmihalyi 1997; Killingsworth and Gilbert 2010). Our hypotheses summarize these ideas: H1:Relative to taking photos for the self, taking photos with the intention to share with others will reduce enjoyment of an experience. H2:Relative to taking photos for the self, taking photos with the intention to share with others will increase self-presentational concern. H3:Self-presentational concern will diminish enjoyment both directly and indirectly through reduced engagement in the experience. Note that our theory of anticipated sharing should apply to a broader range of sharing behaviors beyond photo taking. In fact, these effects should emerge in any situation in which a sharing goal is sufficiently salient, or activated, during the experience itself. We revisit the importance of goal salience across different sharing methods (e.g., verbal, written) in the General Discussion. Five studies test these predictions using a multimethod approach. In the first two studies, we test our hypotheses in the field using both correlational (study 1) and experimental data (study 2). Study 2 also provides an initial test of the proposed self-presentation mechanism by examining whether photo-taking goals can impact how people represent the experience internally (memory) and externally (photos taken). Notably, such altered representations may have important implications for people’s future utility after the experience has ended. In the remaining studies, we manipulate photo-taking goals in a unique laboratory paradigm that simulates real-life experiences in a controlled setting. Studies 3 and 4 explore the effects of differences in the salience of photo-taking goals and corresponding self-presentational concern during an experience, both by inducing such concern situationally (study 3) and by measuring individual variation in trait self-consciousness (study 4). Finally, we examine the role of intentions to share with different audiences (close friends vs. acquaintances; study 5). To examine both proposed pathways, study 3 provides a mediational test for the direct effect of self-presentational concern on enjoyment, while study 5 provides a mediational test for the indirect mechanism through reduced engagement. We also examine whether competing explanations, such as distraction from photo taking (Craik et al. 1996), can account for these results (study 3). STUDY 1: PHOTO TAKING AT A TOURIST ATTRACTION In order to examine the association between photo-taking goals and enjoyment, in this study, we surveyed tourists while they were visiting the Rocky statue, one of the top-rated tourist attractions in Philadelphia. There is typically a line of people waiting for their chance to take a photo with the statue, and we recruited participants from this line to take our survey. That is, we surveyed only individuals who were definitely planning to take a photo with the statue (not individuals who were just observing the statue from afar). We conjectured that these individuals already had a salient goal for their photos in mind before we approached them. Methods Two research assistants collected data for this study across four days (for a total of 12 hours). The RAs were instructed to approach individuals who were about to take a photo of the Rocky statue, and to ask them if they would be willing to take a short survey about their experience in exchange for a souvenir candy bar. For groups, RAs were told to ask only the person who was “in charge” of the camera. Note that respondents themselves may or may not have been in the photos they took. As discussed earlier, the effect of photo-taking goals should hold for either type of photo, and if anything, this selection serves as a conservative test. Across the four days, 153 individuals (47.1% female; mean age = 31.8) completed the survey. Among these participants, 20.9% were from outside the United States and 19.0% reported that English was not their first language. To assess which photo-taking goal participants had in mind at the moment of taking the photo, they were asked to select their primary goal from a multiple-choice list, including “I took the photo for myself (personal memories),” “I took the photo to share (with other people),” “I took the photo with a different goal in mind (neither for myself or to share),” and “I took the photo without any particular goal in mind.” Participants were also asked, “How much did you enjoy the experience here at the Rocky statue?” on a fifteen-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = “Not at all” to 15 = “Extremely.” In addition, as another indicator of how much individuals enjoyed their experience, we asked them “To what extent would you recommend visiting the Rocky statue to a friend?” from 1 = “Not at all” to 15 = “Extremely.” Lastly, we asked participants to report how many photos they had taken at the statue during their visit that day. To test the robustness of the effect, we counterbalanced the order of the question assessing photo-taking goal and the actual photo taking. Half the participants were asked about their photo-taking goal right before they took their photo(s), while the other half were asked all questions right after they had taken their photo(s). Question order did not have any significant effect on the results, so we collapse across order in subsequent analyses. Results Consistent with the descriptive reporting of goals in the introduction, a majority of respondents (96.0%) reported that they were taking photos at the statue for one of two goals: to capture memories for themselves (35.3%) or to share with others (52.3%), or a combination of these goals (8.5%).1 In order to examine the effects of our two primary goals more cleanly, in this study we will focus on individuals who reported pursuing only the self goal or only the share goal at the tourist attraction (n = 134). We will formally examine the issue of pursuing multiple goals in study 3. To test our hypothesis that a sharing goal decreases enjoyment, we estimated a regression with enjoyment as the dependent variable and photo-taking goal (Self-Goal = 0; Share-Goal = 1), as the independent variable. Consistent with our predictions, we found an effect of photo-taking goal (B = –1.539, SE = .575, t(130) = –2.68, p < .01), such that taking photos to share was associated with lower enjoyment relative to taking photos for the self. Similar results emerged for a regression with recommendation as the dependent variable. We found a marginally significant effect of photo-taking goal (B = –1.211, SE = .618, t(130) = –1.96, p = .052), such that people were less likely to report that they would recommend the experience to a friend when they were taking photos to share. There was also a significant effect of photo-taking goals on the number of photos people took (B = 3.842, SE = 1.930, t(127) = 1.99, p = .049).2 Individuals who were taking photos to share took more photos (M = 8.87, SD = 9.81) than individuals who were taking photos for themselves (M = 5.40, SD = 4.54). While consistent with the self-presentational mechanism (e.g., people taking more photos so they can get a “share-worthy” image), there are no significant differences between conditions for number of photos taken in all remaining studies. Thus, results for this measure in subsequent studies will be reported in web appendix A. Note that for this and all other studies reported in the article, the effect of photo-taking goals on enjoyment holds when number of photos taken is included in the model. Discussion Study 1 provides initial evidence that when individuals take photos to share, they enjoy the experience less than when they take photos for themselves. In a different study (see web appendix study B), we further replicated this correlational finding with a broader range of experiences by asking people to recall a recent experience that they photographed, and then to report their photo-taking goal and enjoyment. In addition, results from study 1 suggest that the reduction in enjoyment from sharing goals may also result in people being less likely to recommend that experience to others. Results from this first study provide support for our hypothesis when consumers have freely chosen their own photo-taking goals. This is important for establishing the phenomenon in real-life settings with high ecological validity. However, because this study is correlational in nature, we obviously cannot make strong claims that the photo-taking goals themselves caused these differences in enjoyment. In particular, we cannot rule out that the causal effect is in the opposite direction (people choose different photo-taking goals depending on how much they enjoy the experience), or that certain types of individuals are more likely to take photos with certain goals in mind (and that these individuals are more or less likely to enjoy their experiences due to some other characteristic). Thus, in the remaining studies, we build on this correlational evidence with experimental studies that manipulate people’s photo-taking goals directly. STUDY 2: EXPERIMENTALLY EXAMINING THE EFFECT OF PHOTO GOALS IN THE FIELD This study tests our hypothesis in the field with people’s real holiday experiences. We recruited participants for a study involving photo taking, randomly assigned them to take photos for a self goal (for personal memories) or a share goal (to post on social media), and examined how those goals influenced their evaluation of their holiday photo-taking experience. To gain initial insight into the proposed self-presentation mechanism, we assess two indicators of self-presentational concern: memory perspective and the content of people’s photos. First, we build on prior work showing that people remember an experience more from an “observer” perspective (i.e., from a third-person point of view) when an event triggers self-awareness, or in situations where individuals are conscious of being observed or evaluated (Libby and Eibach 2011; Nigro and Neisser 1983). Third-person memories have also been associated with greater intensity of self-conscious emotions, such as anxiety (Hung and Mukhopadhyay 2012). Thus, we predict that when taking photos with a sharing goal, as opposed to a self goal, people will adopt more of an observer perspective, and will thus be more likely to remember their experience from a third-person perspective. Second, we examine the content of people’s photos as a function of photo-taking goals. Given self-presentational motives, people may be more likely to share photos that present the people in them (including themselves) in the best possible light. Thus, we predict that individuals will be more likely to share photos of themselves, more posed photos (as opposed to candid ones), and more photos of people smiling. Further, shared photos may need to stand alone and tell a story, including the occasion and context of the photo, whereas this information does not need to be conveyed when one is taking photos for oneself. Thus, we predict that individuals will share more photos with content that is typical or representative of the event—in this case, Christmas (e.g., Christmas trees, stockings, reindeer). Methods Four hundred forty students at the University of Pennsylvania signed up to participate in a study about their Christmas holiday experience. The only requirements to sign up were that participants had to be celebrating Christmas and be willing to take photos of their Christmas experience. No other information was provided during the sign-up phase of the study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two photo-taking goal conditions (Self-Goal, Share-Goal) in a between-subjects design. Two days before Christmas, on December 23, participants received an email with a survey link that contained detailed instructions for their assigned photo-taking goal. All participants were asked to take at least 10 photos during their holiday experience. In the Self-Goal condition, they were told to take photos so that they could make an album to keep for themselves, to look back on and remember the day. In the Share-Goal condition, they were told to take photos so that they could make an album that they could share on Facebook. All participants read several pages detailing these photo-taking instructions, and then confirmed that they read them, that they would take photos for the specified goal, and that they would be willing to complete a follow-up survey after their holiday and upload their photos at that time. Of the original 440 participants who signed up for the study, 332 completed this pre-holiday survey, with no significant differences in response rate between conditions (Self-Goal: 74%, Share-Goal: 77%, χ2 = .44, p =.51). On Christmas Eve (December 24), all participants who had completed the pre-holiday survey were sent one reminder email with their assigned photo-taking goal instructions repeated in the body of the email. Post-Holiday Survey Two days after Christmas, all participants were sent an email with a post-holiday survey. Of the 332 participants who successfully completed the pre-Christmas survey, 227 people (75% female; mean age = 22.0) completed the full post-holiday survey, with no significant differences in response rate between conditions (Self-Goal: 66%, Share-Goal: 71%, χ2 = 1.10, p = .29). In the survey, participants were first asked to think back to their Christmas experience using an established procedure (Pronin and Ross 2006). They were asked to take a moment to shut their eyes and form a clear picture of the Christmas experience in their mind. They were also reminded of their assigned photo-taking goal (taking photos for themselves or to share on social media) and told to think about the times when they took photos for that goal. After visualizing for a minute, participants were asked how much they enjoyed their Christmas photo-taking experience on a seven-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = “Not at all” to 7 = “Extremely.” Then, participants responded to a memory perspective measure, which served as an indirect measure of the self-presentation process (Pronin and Ross 2006). They were asked to rate the image in their head on a seven-point Likert scale ranging from mostly a first-person (actor) perspective to mostly a third-person (observer) perspective. See web appendix B for how the endpoints were described. Finally, participants responded to a few demographic questions and reported how many photos they took during Christmas.3 Photo Upload and Content Analysis At the very end of the survey, participants were asked to upload 10 photos into a Christmas album to fulfill their assigned photo-taking goal. Participants were again reminded of their photo goal before creating the album: in the Self-Goal condition, they were instructed to make a personal album that they could keep for themselves to look back on and remember the holiday, while in the Share-Goal condition, they were instructed to make a shared album that they could post on Facebook or other social media (see full instruction wording in web appendix B). Full payment for the study was dependent on completing this step. Of the 227 people who completed the full post-holiday survey, 222 people successfully uploaded albums at this stage. To test our predictions about the content of photos, we had four separate research assistants, who were blind to the research question and condition, code photos on each of the following characteristics: posed, smiling, and Christmas content (see exact wordings from the coding guide in web appendix B). Each research assistant coded one-half of the total albums, such that two research assistants coded the first half of the photos and two different research assistants coded the second half of the photos (approximately 1,050 each). Each pair of coders exhibited high initial interrater reliability (each κ > .8) and resolved disagreements through subsequent discussion. Because coders could not clearly identify how many photos in each album included participants themselves, we asked participants to report this information after uploading their album of 10 photos.4 Results Enjoyment Consistent with our predictions, participants who took photos to share reported that they enjoyed their Christmas photo-taking experience less (M = 5.15, SD = 1.34) than those who took photos for a personal album (M = 5.58, SD = 1.23; F(1,225) = 6.29, p = .01, ωp² = .023). Memory Perspective Participants in the Share-Goal condition were more likely to rate their memory as being from a third-person perspective (M = 3.55, SD = 1.78) than those in the Self-Goal condition (M = 2.92, SD = 1.91, F(1,225) = 6.72, p = .01, ωp² = .025). Photo Content A majority of people (n = 200, 90.1%) uploaded the requested 10 photos into their albums, and the average number of photos in an album did not differ by condition (M = 9.60, SD = 1.33; F(1,220) = .24, p = .62). Still, because the number of photos in each album was not identical across participants, we calculated the proportion of photos in each person’s album for each category of interest (self photos, posed photos, smiling photos, Christmas photos). Overall, there were no differences in the proportion of photos with people in them (self: M = .58, SD = .32; share: M = .60, SD = .29; F(1,220) = .24, p = .62). However, participants who created albums to share included a greater proportion of photos of themselves (M = .31, SD = .28) than those who created personal albums (M = .15, SD = .21; F(1,220) = 22.15, p < .001). Further, as predicted, participants who created albums to share with others included a greater proportion of posed photos (M = .43, SD = .31) than those who created albums to keep for themselves (M = .25, SD = .26; F(1,220) = 23.90, p < .001), and a greater proportion of photos with people smiling (M = .40, SD = .30) than those who created albums for themselves (M = .20, SD = .22; F(1,220) = 32.27, p < .001). Lastly, participants who created albums to share included a greater proportion of photos with items typical of Christmas (M = .58, SD = .30) than those who created personal albums (M = .50, SD = .28; F(1,220) = 4.66, p = .03). Discussion This study provides experimental evidence from people’s own, real-life experiences that taking photos to share with others can decrease enjoyment relative to taking photos for the self. We demonstrate this effect in the field in the context of individuals’ real experiences during a holiday where people naturally take a lot of photos; thus, our findings speak to many meaningful experiences in consumers’ lives. Moreover, we provide initial evidence of the hypothesized self-presentational mechanism. When people take photos to share, they remember their experience more from a third-person perspective, suggesting that taking photos to share makes people consider how the event (and the photos) would be evaluated by an observer. Further, people include different types of photos in a shared album compared to a personal album. When creating an album to share on social media, people are more likely to choose photos of themselves and photos where the people are posed (as opposed to candid) and smiling, suggesting that they want to present themselves in a positive light to their audience. In addition, with shared albums, people are more likely to include photos that have items typical of the holiday, thus providing details about the occasion and context for those who were not there. Importantly, these findings suggest that photo-taking goals affect not only enjoyment of the experience itself, but also how the experience is represented moving forward (memory and photos), with possible implications for reliving or actual sharing in the future. THE LABORATORY PARADIGM In the studies reported so far, we examined the effect of photo-taking goals on people’s experiences in the field, both correlationally and experimentally. While this allows us to test the consequences of these goals on actual behavior in a natural context, it does not afford us full control over the photo-taking environment to isolate the mechanism. For instance, having different goals might influence what people choose to experience or which aspect to document (as we saw in the photo content), contributing to the observed differences. Accordingly, in the remaining studies, we test our hypotheses in a controlled laboratory setting, holding the experience constant and manipulating critical aspects of the process. Across our laboratory studies, participants are told that they will watch a video depicting a first-hand travel experience (e.g., a city bus tour), and that they should try to imagine that they are actually there at the event experiencing it themselves, not just watching it on the screen. Participants are able to take pictures during the experience by clicking on a “camera” button. The photos show up below the video, similar to how photos are displayed on a digital camera or camera phone. The computer program records how many photos were taken during the experience. For a screenshot depicting the laboratory photo-taking experience, see figure 1. FIGURE 1 View largeDownload slide PHOTO-TAKING EXPERIENCE IN THE LABORATORY FIGURE 1 View largeDownload slide PHOTO-TAKING EXPERIENCE IN THE LABORATORY As in the field study, across our laboratory studies, the only difference between the photo-taking goal conditions is whether participants were assigned to take photos for themselves or to share with others. In an initial test of the laboratory paradigm (N = 131), those in the Self-Goal condition were told: “When taking photos, please imagine that you are planning to make an album to look at and keep for yourself. Your goal is to take pictures so that you can preserve the experience for yourself.” Those in the Share-Goal condition were told: “When taking photos, please imagine that you are planning to make an album to share with others on social media (e.g., Facebook). Your goal is to take pictures so you can share the experience with others.” In this initial study, participants experienced a 4 minute London bus tour from the first-person perspective of someone actually going on the tour. The video was taken by someone riding on top of a typical double-decker bus with a tour guide giving riders an overview of the city’s attractions. Immediately following the bus tour, participants were asked, “How much did you enjoy the bus tour experience?” on a seven-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = “Not at all” to 7 = “Extremely.” We found that participants who took photos with the goal of sharing the experience with others enjoyed the experience less (M = 4.70, SD = 1.65) than those who took photos for themselves (M = 5.31, SD = 1.31; F(1,129) = 5.51, p = .02). This lends credence to this paradigm’s ability to capture the basic effect we observed in the field while holding the experience constant across participants. In the following studies, we utilize this laboratory paradigm to further test the proposed psychological mechanism of self-presentational concern. STUDY 3: DIFFERENTIAL GOAL SALIENCE WHEN BOTH GOALS ARE ACTIVE Study 3 was designed to clarify the nature of the photo-taking goal construct. In particular, we examine whether it is the mere presence of a photo-taking goal or the salience of a photo-taking goal during the experience that affects enjoyment. While people may have both self and share goals in mind when taking pictures, we argue that it is the relative activation of the two goals during the experience, not merely their presence, that affects enjoyment. If sharing photos with others is more salient during the experience than keeping photos for oneself, we expect self-presentational concern to be heightened. If, however, keeping photos for oneself is more salient than sharing photos with others, then self-presentational concern should play less of a role. In order to test this prediction, all conditions in this study explicitly mention both goals. Yet, in two conditions, participants were instructed to take photos with one of these goals as their primary goal, which should affect their relative salience. In a third condition, participants were instructed to take photos while focusing on both goals equally. For this third condition, we expect enjoyment of the experience to fall in between the other two conditions. We include manipulation checks to ensure that the two goals were indeed differentially activated. Moreover, this study explores the proposed psychological mechanism (hypothesis 2) by directly measuring self-presentational concern and testing whether it mediates the effect of photo-taking goals on enjoyment. We also examine a potential alternative explanation for why sharing goals might reduce enjoyment—namely, that photo-taking goals may differentially distract people by dividing their attention between the experience and the act of taking a photo. Because both photo-taking goals require action during an experience, we expect the degree of distraction to be similar across conditions, and thereby unable to account for the observed difference in enjoyment. Nevertheless, we assess this possibility empirically to provide more conclusive evidence. Methods Two hundred seven individuals (66.7% female; mean age = 23.1) at a Northeastern university participated in a study in exchange for payment. In this study, participants experienced a 3 minute African safari depicting a pack of warthogs who were feeding on an antelope. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions (Primarily-Self-Goal, Primarily-Share-Goal, Equal-Goals). In all conditions, participants were told, “Two main reasons why people take photos are so that they can look back at the photos themselves and so that they can share the photos with others. As you go through the experience, please take photos with both of these goals in mind.” So in all conditions, it was explicit that the photos they took could serve either of these two goals. The only difference between conditions was the relative salience of these two goals during the experience. In the Primarily-Self-Goal condition, participants were instructed: “However, your PRIMARY goal should be to take photos so you can look back at those photos and remember the experience in the future.” In the Primarily-Share-Goal condition, participants were instructed: “However, your PRIMARY goal should be to take photos so you can share those photos with other people.” In the Equal-Goals condition, participants were instructed: “Your goal should be to take pictures so that you can look back at those photos to remember the experience in the future and also so that you can share those photos with other people.” The order in which the two goals were mentioned in the Equal-Goals condition was counterbalanced; this did not affect any of the dependent measures, so we collapse across order in subsequent analyses. Immediately following the safari, participants were asked: “How much did you enjoy the safari experience?” on a seven-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = “Not at all” to 7 = “Extremely.” We also assessed a behavioral implication of participants’ enjoyment by asking: “To what extent would you be interested in participating in a similar future experiment?” (1 = “Not at all interested” to 7 = “Extremely interested”; Raghunathan and Corfman 2006). Participants were also asked three items measuring their self-presentational concern. Because self-presentational concern often triggers the self-conscious emotion of anxiety (Leary 2007; Miller 1992), we assessed participants’ feelings of anxiety during the experience by asking “How anxious did you feel during the bus tour experience?” on a seven-point Likert scale from 1 = “Not at all anxious” to 7 = “Extremely anxious.” In addition, participants responded to two additional items that asked about the self-presentational process more directly: “How worried were you that you were taking photos that would show yourself in the best possible light?” and “To what extent were you attempting to control your impression while taking photos?” both on seven-point Likert scales from 1 = “Not at all” to 7 = “Extremely.” These three items formed a single factor and were averaged to create a measure of self-presentational concern (α = .67). All effects hold separately for each scale item. As a manipulation check of the goal salience manipulation, two items at the end of the study assessed goal activation during the experience: “To what extent were you focused on capturing photos for yourself to look back on in the future while experiencing the safari?” and “To what extent were you focused on capturing photos to share with others while experiencing the safari?” both on 0–100 Likert scales from 0 = “Not at all” to 100 = “A great deal.” We also collected three ancillary measures to test the potential alternative explanation that taking photos to share is more distracting than taking photos for the self (“How distracted did you feel by your photo-taking goal(s) during the safari experience?”, “How much did you feel like you were missing out on the safari experience while taking photos?”, “Taking photos for that goal(s) really disrupted my safari experience”; all on seven-point Likert scales). These three items formed a single factor and were averaged to create a measure of distraction (α = .87). Results Goal Salience Manipulation Check Consistent with the intended manipulation, a one-way ANOVA revealed a significant effect of photo-taking condition on the two goal salience manipulation checks (self MC: F(2,204) = 9.67, p < .001; share MC: F(2,204) = 15.92, p < .001). Participants in the Primarily-Self-Goal condition reported that they were capturing photos for themselves to look back on in the future (M = 70.97, SD = 21.95) more than those in the Primarily-Share-Goal condition (M = 51.09, SD = 29.23; F(1, 204) = 19.17, p < .001) and marginally more than participants in the Equal-Goals condition (M = 62.71, SD = 28.61; F(1, 204) = 3.29, p = .07). In addition, those in the Equal-Goals condition reported that they were taking photos for this reason more than those in the Primarily-Share-Goal condition (F(1, 204) = 6.45, p = .01). Further, participants in the Primarily-Share-Goal condition reported that they were capturing photos to share with others (M = 78.78, SD = 21.49) more than those in the Primarily-Self-Goal condition (M = 55.33, SD = 26.72; F(1, 204) = 31.83, p < .001) and more than participants in the Equal-Goals condition (M = 67.26, SD = 24.99; F(1, 204) = 7.57; p < .01). In addition, those in the Equal-Goals condition reported that they were taking photos for this reason more than those in the Primarily-Self-Goal condition (F(1, 204) = 8.18, p < .01). Enjoyment Consistent with our prediction, an ANOVA revealed a significant effect of photo-taking condition on enjoyment (F(2,204) = 3.68, p = .03). Replicating our previous studies, participants who took photos with the primary goal of sharing them with others enjoyed the experience less (M = 4.19, SD = 1.70) than those who took photos with the primary goal of preserving the experience for themselves (M = 4.99, SD = 1.57; F(1, 204) = 7.34, p < .01). Participants who took photos with both of these goals equally salient fell between these two conditions: they enjoyed their experience just as much (M = 4.62, SD = 1.92) as those who took photos primarily for themselves (F(1, 204) = 1.55, p = .21) and those who took photos primarily to share with others (F(1, 204) = 2.10, p = .15). Interest in Similar Experience An ANOVA revealed a marginally significant effect of photo-taking condition on interest in participating in a similar experience (F(2,204) = 2.34, p = .099). Participants who took photos with the primary goal of sharing the experience with others reported that they would be less interested in participating in a similar future experiment (M = 4.12, SD = 1.75) than those who took photos with the primary goal of preserving the experience for themselves (M = 4.73, SD = 1.62; F(1, 204) = 4.53, p = .03). Participants who took photos with both of these goals equally salient fell between the two primary goal conditions: they were just as interested in going through a similar experience (M = 4.32, SD = 1.71) as those who took photos primarily for themselves (F(1, 204) = 1.96, p = .16) and those who took photos primarily to share with others (F(1, 204) = 0.51, p = .48). Self-Presentational Concern An ANOVA also revealed a significant effect of photo-taking condition on self-presentational concern (F(2,204) = 4.39, p = .01). Participants who took photos with the primary goal of sharing the experience with others felt more self-presentational concern (M = 3.97, SD = 1.29) than those who took photos with the primary goal of preserving the experience for themselves (M = 3.30, SD = 1.21; F(1, 204) = 8.77, p < .01). Participants who took photos with both of these goals equally in mind fell in between primary goal conditions: they felt as much self-presentational concern (M = 3.62, SD = 1.47) as those who took photos primarily for themselves (F(1, 204) = 1.98, p = .16) and those who took photos primarily to share with others (F(1, 204) = 2.36, p = .13). Distraction There were no differences between the three photo-goal conditions in reported distraction (F(2,204) = .54, p = .59). Individuals who took photos primarily to share (M = 3.13; SD = 1.39) or for both goals equally (M = 3.38; SD = 1.51) were no more distracted than individuals who took photos primarily for themselves (M = 3.27; SD = 1.38; Fs < 0.4, ps > .5). The effect of photo-taking goals on enjoyment holds when distraction is included in the model. Mediation Analyses Contrasting the Primarily-Self-Goal (0) and Primarily-Share-Goal (1) conditions, we conducted a mediation analysis using a bootstrap procedure with 10,000 samples (Preacher, Rucker, and Hayes 2007; SPSS Process Macro Model 4). We find a significant indirect effect of self-presentational concern (indirect effect = –0.418, SE = .153, 95% CI = [–.771, –.158]), such that relative to taking photos for the self, taking photos to share increased self-presentational concern (a = .67, p = .002), and as self-presentational concern increased, enjoyment decreased (b = –0.63, p < .001). Once we included self-presentational concern in our model, the effect of photo goals on enjoyment significantly decreased from c = –.80, p = .005 to c′ = –0.38, p = .14.5 Discussion This study supports the proposition that it is the salience of the goal during the experience that affects enjoyment. When a share goal is more salient, even when it is accompanied by another (less salient) self goal, there can be negative effects on enjoyment. That is, having primarily a sharing goal in mind reduces enjoyment relative to having primarily a self goal in mind, replicating our effects under conditions where both goals are activated. In addition, as expected, when both goals are equally salient, enjoyment of the experience falls in between the two primary goals. This pattern of results is also present for a behavioral measure: interest in participating in another similar experience. Thus, taking photos to share does not just reduce enjoyment of the experience itself; it can also extend to future behavioral intentions. This study also demonstrates that taking photos to share does not lead to greater distraction than taking photos for the self, and thus shows that distraction cannot account for the effects of the sharing goal. STUDY 4: MODERATION BY TRAIT SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS Study 3 provided evidence that the reduced enjoyment when one is taking photos to share depends on how salient the sharing goal is during the experience relative to other goals. In study 4, we examine whether the reduced enjoyment when taking photos to share also depends on the salience of self-presentational concern itself. To do so, we test whether a relevant individual difference variable interacts with photo-taking goals. The Trait Self-Consciousness Scale (Fenigstein, Scheier, and Buss 1975; Scheier and Carver 1985) measures individual differences in the extent to which people are chronically concerned with presentation of the self and the reactions of others to that presentation. We examine two subscales relevant to our context: the Public Self-Consciousness scale, which measures an individual’s tendency to think about self-aspects that are matters of public display, and the Social Anxiety scale, which measures an individual’s sense of apprehension over being evaluated by others in social contexts. We expect that the effect of reduced enjoyment when taking photos to share will be the strongest for those high on these dimensions of self-consciousness. Methods Two hundred eighty-nine individuals (54.3% female; mean age = 36.7) participated in an online study via Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk in exchange for payment. Participants were randomly assigned to a Self-Goal or a Share-Goal condition in a between-subjects design. Participants received the same photo-taking goal instructions as in the pilot lab study and then watched a first-person video of a walking tour through Carcassonne, France, that took 3 minutes and 22 seconds. After the walking tour video ended, all participants responded to the same enjoyment question from the previous studies. Then, participants were asked to indicate the extent to which 13 items from the two subscales of the Trait Self-Consciousness Scale were like them, using the following response format: 0 = “Not like me at all,” 1 = “A little like me,” 2 = “Somewhat like me,” and 3 = “A lot like me” (see web appendix 3 for full list of scale items). Responses were summed across all 13 items to form our individual difference measure of trait self-consciousness (α = .59).6 Results To test our hypothesis that those who score higher in trait self-consciousness would be more likely to experience reduced enjoyment in the sharing condition, we estimated a regression with enjoyment as the dependent variable and photo-taking goal (Self-Goal = –1; Share-Goal = +1), trait self-consciousness (mean-centered), and their interaction as the independent variables. The regression revealed a significant effect of photo-goal condition (B = –.604, SE = .183, t(285) = –3.30, p = .001), replicating our findings from the previous studies that participants enjoyed the experience less in the Share-Goal condition than the Self-Goal condition. There was no significant effect of self-consciousness (B = .027, SE = .026, t(285) = 1.05, p = .30). Most importantly, however, consistent with our predictions, we found a significant photo-goal condition by self-consciousness interaction (B = –.101, SE = .035, t(285) = –2.87, p = .004). To decompose this interaction, we examined the relationship between scores on the trait self-consciousness scale and enjoyment for each photo-taking goal condition (Aiken and West 1991; Spiller et al. 2013). For the Share-Goal condition, when self-presentational concern should play a role, there was a significant negative association between self-consciousness and enjoyment (B =–.074, SE = .027, t(136) = –2.75, p = .007). However, for the Self-Goal condition, when self-presentational concern should be less of a factor, there was no significant relationship between self-consciousness and enjoyment (B = .027, SE = .023, t(149) = 1.19, p = .24). In other words, the higher participants scored on trait self-consciousness, the less they enjoyed the experience, but only when they were taking photos to share. In order to identify the range of self-consciousness scores for which the simple effect of the photo-goal manipulation was significant, we used the Johnson-Neyman technique. This analysis revealed that there was a significant effect of photo-taking goal for any self-consciousness score greater than 18.5 (BJN = –.391, SE = .198, p = .05), but not for any self-consciousness score less than 18.5. Discussion This study replicates our previous findings showing that taking photos to share diminishes enjoyment relative to taking photos for the self. In addition, we find that individual differences in self-consciousness affect people’s enjoyment depending on their photo-taking goal. For those who take photos for themselves, self-consciousness is not related to enjoyment. However, for those who take photos to share with others, being higher in self-consciousness is related to lower enjoyment during the experience, arguably because those individuals who have more chronically salient concerns about self-presentation are the ones whose anxiety most prevents them from enjoying the experience. This provides further support for the proposed self-presentational mechanism. STUDY 5: THE EFFECT OF SHARING WITH DIFFERENT AUDIENCES In our previous studies, participants anticipated sharing their photos on social media, but we did not specify the audience with whom they would share these photos. Social interactions with certain audiences heighten the prospect of interpersonal evaluation (Gynther 1957; Schlenker and Leary 1982), while interactions with family and close friends rarely lead to the same level of social anxiety (Zimbardo 1977). Thus, sharing photos with close others may not induce the same level of self-presentational concern relative to sharing photos with broad audiences on social media or with acquaintances, because people are less likely to expect that close friends would judge them (or change their opinions of them) from viewing their photos (Tice et al. 1995). In addition, there is less uncertainty about close friends’ expectations (e.g., Houghton et al. 2013), and uncertainty is a major antecedent of social anxiety (Dibner 1958; Pilkonis 1977). To the extent that sharing with closer others leads to lower levels of self-presentational concern, it should moderate the effect of sharing goals and reduce the negative effect of sharing on enjoyment. In addition to testing this moderation, this study also tests whether self-presentational concern affects enjoyment indirectly via the distal mechanism of engagement in the experience (hypothesis 3). Specifically, we examine via sequential mediation whether self-presentational concern leads people to become less immersed in the experience, subsequently reducing enjoyment. Methods One hundred fifty-three students (44.4% female; mean age = 23.7) at a Northeastern university participated in exchange for payment. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions (Self-Goal, Share-Goal-Acquaintances, Share-Goal-Friends) in a between-subjects design. In the Self-Goal condition, participants were given the same instructions as before: to take photos for a personal album. In the two Share-Goal conditions, participants were given a short description of GooglePlus, a social networking site where people share content with “Circles” of selected groups of people. In these two conditions, participants were told to imagine that they were taking photos to share with one of their GooglePlus Circles. Since audience size can affect the extent to which individuals share self-presentational content or feel anxiety (Barasch and Berger 2014), we held audience size constant at 10 people. We then manipulated the closeness of the audience in the Circle of 10 people: participants in the Share-Goal-Acquaintances condition were told to take photos to share with a Circle of 10 acquaintances, while participants in the Share-Goal-Friends condition were told to take photos to share with a Circle of 10 close friends. Participants in both conditions experienced the same London bus tour. After the bus tour, all participants answered the same enjoyment question from the previous studies. Next, participants responded to two questions about their level of engagement in the bus tour experience: “How much did you feel immersed in the bus tour experience?” on a seven-point Likert scale from 1 = “Not at all” to 7 = “Extremely” and “To what extent did you feel you were really part of the bus tour experience?” from 0 = “Felt I was not at all part of the experience” to 100 = “Felt I was entirely part of the experience” (Diehl et al. 2016). Because these two items were on different scales, they were standardized and then averaged to form a measure of engagement (r(153) = .89; p < .001). All participants were also asked the single-item anxiety question that was part of the self-presentational concern scale used in study 3. Results Enjoyment An ANOVA revealed a significant effect of photo-taking goal on enjoyment (F(2,150) = 3.96, p = .02). Consistent with results from our previous studies, relative to taking photos for the self (M = 5.55, SD = 1.20), taking photos to share with a circle of acquaintances decreased participants’ enjoyment (M = 4.92, SD = 1.58; F(1,150) = 5.56; p = .02). However, audience closeness moderated the effect of photo-taking goal on enjoyment. When taking photos to share with a circle of close friends (M = 5.60, SD = 1.24), participants enjoyed the experience more than when taking photos to share with acquaintances (F(1,150) = 6.36; p = .01) and just as much as when taking photos for a personal album (F(1,150) = 0.04; p = .84). Self-Presentational Concern Ratings of self-presentational concern were also affected by photo-taking goal (F(2,150) = 4.99, p < .01). Similar to the previous studies, relative to taking photos for a personal album (M = 2.74, SD = 1.67), taking photos to share with a circle of acquaintances increased feelings of self-presentational concern (M = 3.76, SD = 1.99, F(1,150) = 8.73; p < .01). However, when taking photos to share with a circle of close friends (M = 2.90, SD = 1.59), participants felt less self-presentational concern than when taking photos to share with acquaintances (F(1,150) = 6.00; p = .02) and just as much as when taking photos for a personal album (F(1,150) = 0.23; p = .64). Engagement A one-way ANOVA revealed a significant effect of photo-taking goal on engagement (F(2,150) = 6.77, p < .01). Compared to taking photos for the self (M = .05, SD = .89), taking photos to share with acquaintances decreased participants’ engagement (M = –.37, SD = 1.10; F(1,150) = 5.10; p = .03). However, when taking photos to share with close friends (M = .32, SD = .80), participants felt more engaged in the experience than when taking photos to share with acquaintances (F(1,150) = 13.31; p < .001) and just as much as when taking photos for a personal album (F(1,150) = 2.08; p = .15). Mediation Analysis Finally, we conducted a bootstrap analysis for estimating multistep mediation with 10,000 samples (SPSS Macro PROCESS, Model 6) using photo-taking goal condition as the independent variable, self-presentational concern as the first mediator, engagement as the second mediator, and enjoyment as the dependent variable. Note that there was no difference in enjoyment between the Self-Goal and the Share-Goal-Friends in terms of enjoyment. Hence, unsurprisingly, self-presentational concern and engagement did not mediate the effect of photo goals on enjoyment for these conditions (indirect effect = –.001, SE = .013; 95% CI = [–.051, .013]). More importantly, and replicating our effects from the previous studies, the 95% confidence interval for the comparison between Self-Goal and Share-Goal-Acquaintances (Self-Goal = 0; Share-Goal-Acquaintances = 1) did not include zero, indicating that self-presentational concern mediates the effect of photo goals on enjoyment through its effect on engagement (indirect effect = –.072, SE = .056; 95% CI = [–.244, –.007]). Specifically, we found that taking photos to share with acquaintances increased self-presentational concern (a1 = 0.52, p < .01) and also decreased engagement in the experience (a2 = –.21, p = .04). The more self-presentational concern participants felt, the less engaged they were in the experience (a3 = –0.24, p < .001). Further, as self-presentational concern increased (b1 = –0.21, p < .01) and engagement decreased (b2 = 0.54, p < .001), participants enjoyed the experience less. Once we included self-presentational concern and engagement in our model, the effect of photo goals on enjoyment significantly decreased from c = –0.31, p = .03 to c′ = –0.17, p = .22. The path model with estimated coefficients is displayed in figure 2. FIGURE 2 View largeDownload slide MEDIATION RESULTS IN STUDY 5 NOTE.—Solid lines represent the direct effect of the first variable on the second variable. Dashed lines represent the effect of the first variable on the second variable when also including the other intervening variable in the model (e.g., the effect of photo-taking goal on engagement, when self-presentational concern is included in the model). FIGURE 2 View largeDownload slide MEDIATION RESULTS IN STUDY 5 NOTE.—Solid lines represent the direct effect of the first variable on the second variable. Dashed lines represent the effect of the first variable on the second variable when also including the other intervening variable in the model (e.g., the effect of photo-taking goal on engagement, when self-presentational concern is included in the model). Discussion This study provides further support for the self-presentational mechanism between photo-taking goals and enjoyment. In this study, we manipulate the closeness of the sharing audience and show that it moderates the effect we found in the previous studies. Taking photos to share with close friends makes the experience significantly more enjoyable than taking photos to share with acquaintances, and just as enjoyable as taking photos for one’s own personal album. Further, we find additional mediational evidence as to how self-presentational concern affects enjoyment indirectly: through its downstream effect on engagement. Those with a goal to share with acquaintances feel stronger self-presentational concern, which makes them less engaged in the experience, causing them to enjoy the experience less. We replicated these effects and mediation analysis through engagement in another study where people anticipated sharing their experience with an actual partner in the lab (reported in web appendix study C). While previous work on sharing experiences has looked separately at actual sharing with either close (Lambert et al. 2013) or distant others (Reis et al. 2010), our research directly compares the impact of anticipating sharing experiences with audiences of different closeness. Note, however, that self-presentational concern is unlikely to increase monotonically with distance from one’s current self. For instance, when one truly does not care about the people viewing one’s photos (such as complete strangers the person will never see again), self-presentational concern may not emerge or diminish enjoyment. GENERAL DISCUSSION Experiences are vital to well-being, and understanding the factors that affect enjoyment of experiences is important to both consumers seeking happiness and companies creating and marketing such experiences. Experiences are also widely shared with others, not only through written and verbal communication, but increasingly through photos as well. More and more photos are taken to capture experiences as they unfold, and millions of these photos are shared every day through social media and other channels. Though prior research on sharing has examined the effects of sharing following an experience, our findings are the first to highlight the importance of anticipated sharing during an experience, even before any actual sharing takes place. Across five studies using multiple methodologies, we find that compared to taking photos for one’s own memories, taking photos to share leads people to enjoy their experiences less. This effect holds across several real experiences, such as tourist visits and holidays (studies 1 and 2), as well as in more controlled laboratory settings with a variety of virtual experiences (studies 3–5). Moreover, this effect emerges both when people naturally choose their own photo-taking goals (study 1) and when photo-taking goals are experimentally induced (studies 2–5). Though people may simultaneously pursue multiple goals when taking photos, the overall effects on enjoyment depend on which goal is most salient during the course of the experience (study 3). These effects on enjoyment also have further behavioral implications, including people’s likelihood to recommend an experience to others (study 1) and their desire to repeat a similar experience in the future (study 3). Across these studies, we demonstrate that the negative effects of photo-sharing goals on current enjoyment are driven by heightened feelings of self-presentational concern. Taking photos to share with others increases feelings of anxiety to present oneself in a positive light, which in turn reduces enjoyment during the experience. Our studies provide empirical support for the role of self-presentational concern both via mediation (studies 3 and 5) and via moderation by individual differences (study 4) and closeness of the sharing audience (study 5). Besides reducing enjoyment directly (study 3), self-presentational concern can also reduce enjoyment indirectly by decreasing engagement (study 5). Alternative explanations, such as differential distraction from photo-taking goals, cannot account for these results (study 3). We provide further evidence that the photo-taking goal affects self-presentational concern through its effects on memory perspective and photo content: taking photos to share makes people more likely to remember the experience from a third-person perspective, as well as to select more photos with smiling people, a posed (vs. candid) format, and prototypical holiday content (study 2). These findings suggest that photo-taking goals affect both the internal representation (memory) and the external representation (photos taken) of the experience moving forward, with potential implications for future utility. We also identify an important boundary condition for these effects: taking photos to share is less likely to decrease enjoyment when people are sharing exclusively with close friends whose evaluations of them are less likely to change based on their photos (study 5). Theoretical Contributions The present research offers several novel insights for consumer research. Most prior work on the personal and interpersonal effects of sharing experiences with others (e.g., from self-disclosure or communicating word of mouth; Lambert et al. 2013; Reis et al. 2010; Tamir and Mitchell 2012), has examined only the positive effects of sharing after an experience has ended. Instead, our work examines situations in which the intention to share in the future is salient during an experience and negatively affects current enjoyment. Similarly, we advance prior research on impression management and self-presentation by identifying the hedonic costs of a highly prevalent behavior that is often rooted in a desire to self-present. Though previous work has shown that public (vs. private) situations can trigger anxiety about how one will be judged by others (Baumeister 1982), no prior work has explored how merely anticipating future self-presentation can impact current hedonic enjoyment. We show that photo-taking goals can activate social concerns, even in situations in which they might not otherwise be salient. Though people frequently choose to take photos to share, possibly because they anticipate the benefits of sharing their photos after an experience, they may not be aware that doing so can have unintended negative consequences during the experience itself. In our initial survey, few people predicted the direction of this effect. Our research thus integrates the sharing literature with work examining the trade-offs between present and future sources of utility. Just as seeking greater future happiness can undermine psychological health and well-being in the present (Mauss et al. 2011; Schooler, Ariely, and Loewenstein 2003), seeking future utility from sharing photos can diminish hedonic utility in the present. Our findings are also the first to document when and how taking photos to share with others can alter evaluations of experiences. Recent research has explored how taking photos in general heightens enjoyment and visual memory of an experience, compared to not taking photos (Barasch et al., 2017; Diehl et al. 2016). The current work expands on these findings by demonstrating the importance of the goals people pursue when taking photos and their differential impact on the enjoyment of experiences. Importantly, even though taking photos to share reduces enjoyment of the experience compared to taking photos for the self, both forms of photo taking still heighten enjoyment when compared to not taking any photos (see study reported in web appendix study D). Therefore, the current work is fully consistent with prior findings that taking photos (vs. not taking photos) can increase enjoyment, but provides a more nuanced understanding of how people’s reasons for taking photos affects their enjoyment. How might our theory of anticipated sharing apply to other communication channels besides photo sharing? Across different methods of sharing (e.g., photos, writing, retelling), we expect that the degree of self-presentational concern felt during the experience will depend on 1) the extent to which a given method makes sharing goals salient in the moment, and 2) the extent to which that method produces a specific, concrete representation that is difficult to change. Because some forms of sharing do not require an activity during the experience itself (e.g., verbally telling others about an experience afterward), and might allow for exaggeration or omission of negative details, they might not make self-presentational concern as salient throughout the experience, and thus might not reduce current enjoyment to the same extent. Conversely, other forms of sharing that require activity during an experience and do not allow for selective reporting, such as live-tweeting during an experience, might have effects similar to those we document for photo taking. An exploratory study provides initial evidence supporting these predictions (see web appendix study E), and future research may want to compare different sharing modalities more systematically. One might argue that taking photos to share involves extrinsic rewards, while taking photos for the self involves only intrinsic rewards from the experience itself, thus accounting for the observed effects (Deci 1971). While the share- versus self-goal distinction seems aligned with the extrinsic versus intrinsic distinction on the surface, both these prior findings and the conditions under which they were obtained differ in important ways from the current research. Prior work on the effect of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation (Deci 1971; Lepper, Greene, and Nisbett 1973) follows a very specific setup: a period during which actual external rewards for a task are introduced (vs. not), followed by a period during which the external rewards are removed and intrinsic motivation is assessed through task persistence or self-reported measures of task enjoyment. In contrast, we focus on the effects of anticipated sharing and measure enjoyment immediately after the experience; hence, extrinsic rewards from actual sharing are never experienced nor removed before enjoyment is assessed. Moreover, while extrinsic rewards have been shown to reduce persistence and effort, two meta-analyses on this vast area of research have not found significant detrimental effects on self-reported enjoyment (Cameron and Pierce 1994; Deci, Koester, and Ryan 1999), the focus of our investigation. Thus, our conceptualization and empirical results are distinct from prior findings on intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation. Substantive Implications Our work also makes several substantive contributions. People share hundreds of millions of photos every day (Facebook 2017; Systrom 2014), and companies are actively attempting to capitalize on this trend. Many restaurants and hotels incorporate hashtags throughout their experiences to encourage consumers to take photos for sharing on social media (Mancini 2014; Veix 2013). Such salient reminders might have unintended costs if they reduce the enjoyment people feel during the experience itself, with potentially harmful effects on retrospective evaluations. Though companies invest substantial resources to create experiences that maximize consumer enjoyment (Pine and Gilmore 1999; Schmitt 1999), encouraging consumers to take photos to share during experiences may be counterproductive. Moreover, as demonstrated in studies 1 and 3, these negative effects on consumers’ experiences may also reduce their propensity to repeat experiences or recommend them to others. Nonetheless, our work also identifies an opportunity for marketers to promote consumer photo taking. Instead of prohibiting photography altogether, as some restaurants owners and performers now do (Stapinski 2013; Wright 2012), companies and performers might benefit from encouraging consumers to take photos to preserve their own memories rather than to share on social media. Directions for Future Research As with any initial investigation of a novel research question, many interesting directions remain unexplored. While the current research focuses on isolating the enjoyment consumers experience during an event itself, taking photos clearly involves other sources of utility. Future work might consider how photo-taking goals impact overall consumer utility, including utility from the actual fulfillment of those goals (i.e., revisiting or sharing photos after the experience), to provide a more integrative understanding of individual and social utility from experience over time. This article also provides an initial examination of the effect of photo-taking goals on photo content (e.g., posed vs. candid). Examining other features of the photos that result from each of these photo-taking goals might also yield interesting insights. Given self-presentational motives, taking photos to share might spur people to take better-composed, higher-quality photos, or to capture especially positive aspects of their experiences (e.g., the most fun parts of a trip rather than the unhappy ones). Over time, people might benefit from their attempts to take the “best” pictures to share; after enough time has passed, what most impresses others may also be what appeals most to us. On the other hand, these photos might seem less “authentic” or representative of the true experience, and might contribute to less vivid or even false memories. Striving to capture the best photo may also lead to more interruptions of the experience itself. While unrelated interruptions have been shown to reduce adaptation and increase task enjoyment (Nelson, Meyvis, and Galak 2009), it is an open question if the same effects would emerge for interruptions that are integral to an experience, such as photo taking. Future research should also investigate additional situational variables that might moderate the influence of photo-taking goals on enjoyment. While we manipulated audience closeness, other features of the audience could also influence the effect of taking photos to share. For example, taking photos to share with others who jointly experienced the same event might induce either less anxiety (by reducing concern about capturing it perfectly if they experienced it too), or more anxiety (by increasing pressure from direct comparison against their photos). Attributes of the photo-taking medium or communication channel could also play a role. In general, to the extent that a photo feels less public or more fleeting (e.g., on Snapchat), self-presentational concern may diminish and enjoyment may increase. On the other hand, for particularly important or once-in-a-lifetime experiences, taking photos for the self might be just as stressful as taking photos to share because of increased pressure to capture this fleeting moment faithfully for posterity. Individual characteristics may matter as well. For example, sharing goals might diminish enjoyment less for older people than for younger adults, since they might not associate photo sharing with identity curation or share their photos with broad audiences (e.g., on Facebook) that include distant others (see web appendix study F). In sum, by exploring how photo-taking goals impact consumers’ evaluations of their experiences, the current research merely scratches the surface of an understudied behavior. We close this article with a call for future work to further explore the role photo taking plays in people’s lives, as this activity only continues to expand in breadth and importance. DATA COLLECTION INFORMATION The first author supervised the collection of data for all the studies at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, between fall 2013 and spring 2016, with guidance from the second and third authors. The first author analyzed these data under the supervision of the second and third authors. She thanks her dissertation co-chair, Deborah Small, and the rest of her committee, Paul Rozin and Rom Schrift, as well as Jonathan Berman and Amit Bhattacharjee for their insightful comments. She also thanks Robert Botto and Shawn Zamechek for their expertise and technical assistance in designing the photo-taking interface, and the Wharton Behavioral Laboratory for data collection assistance. Partial support for this research comes from the Wharton Risk Center Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowship, the Baker Center PhD Research Grant, and the Qualtrics Behavioral Research Grant. Supplementary materials are included in the web appendix accompanying the online version of this article. Footnotes 1 Only a small proportion of people reported that they were taking photos for another goal (2.0%) or with no particular goal in mind (2.0%). 2 Only 131 out of 134 participants responded to this question. 3 The percentage of people who did not follow the instructions to take at least 10 photos during the holiday did not differ by condition (Self-Goal: 7.5%, Share-Goal: 10.8%, χ2 = .76, p =.38). We analyze our results for all participants who completed all phases of the study, but results also hold for only those who took at least 10 photos. 4 The subset of participants who responded to this question about whether the self was in the photo is slightly different than the subset of participants who uploaded photo albums that were subsequently coded. That is, two participants who answered this question did not end up uploading an album, and two participants who uploaded an album did not answer this question. We report all data collected for each measure. 5 We also conducted a mediation analysis (model 4) with reported distraction as a simultaneous mediator, and found that the effect of photo-taking goals on enjoyment was still mediated by self-presentational concern (indirect effect = –0.393, SE = 0.147; 95% CI = [–.749, –.156]). However, we found no evidence of mediation through distraction when it is included in the model in parallel with self-presentational concern (indirect effect = 0.016, SE = 0.035; 95% CI = [–.029, .127]) or when it is included as the sole mediator in a separate model (indirect effect = 0.037, SE = 0.067; 95% CI = [–.086, .184]). 6 In our sample, responses ranged from 3 to 36 with M = 20.61 and SD = 5.21. This measure was not affected by the photo-goal manipulation (F(1,287) = 2.07, p = .15). REFERENCES Aiken Leona S., West Stephen G. ( 1991), Multiple Regression: Testing and Interpreting Interactions , Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. 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Journal of Consumer Research – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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