This social research was conducted mainly to give information and explain the photographic behavior of tourists and how this impacts their happiness. Thus formulation of the main research question gave rise to three further research questions. The research questions focus on the relationship between photographic behavior of tourists and their happiness. The research intends to enlighten on the tourists` photographic behavior and provide knowledge about various behavior patterns. The research data are based on the data which were collected by 40 students from Wageningten University on the field research carried out within 3 days. It focuses on the following research questions: does the number of times a person has already been at the destination have influence on the amount of photos the person has already taken today? Do people who take more photos have more positive emotions? Does the amount of photos a tourist usually takes on a holiday trip have influence on his life satisfaction?
From the research questions it can be derived that the independent variable would be photo taking and the dependent variable would be tourists’ happiness. The mediator would be positive emotions, since they are to be stimulated by the activity of photo taking. As for the moderating factors, they included the following: age, race, gender, education, income, amount of the photos taken and the number of times the tourist has already visited the destination. Also external factors, such as weather and technology, are perceived to link both the dependent and independent variables.
Data concerning the photographic behavior of tourists on a holiday trip were collected using mixed methods of data collection which are an approach to professional research that combines collection and analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative research methods are usually deductive and hypotheses were generated and tested.
For the quantitative data collection, 928 questionnaires were used. Respondents were chosen with the help of accidental sampling, which is the type of non-probability sampling in six different Dutch places, coming up with a sample of 928 respondents which represents strong statistical number, which is a good basis for mathematical calculations (Bryman 2008). The questionnaires were divided into three parts in correlating with specific research questions.
Participant observation was done as a method of qualitative research whereby the participants being at the destinations observed behaviors of different tourists. The participants observed were chosen by using the four sample methods of Martin and Bateson (1986) as cited in Bryman (2008): focal sampling, scan sampling libitum sampling and behavior sampling. While using these sampling methods, the researchers paid attention to their behavior before, while and after taking photos, also with respect to other aspects, like the subject they took pictures of or their interaction with other people. Some tourists were interviewed about their photographic behavior and their latest and most important photo taken. The behaviors observed were written down; first in the form of field notes and later in more detailed way by recalling specific moments and talking about it within the groups.
The philosophy of Empirical Emphasis which states that Science is primarily a data gathering, experimental endeavor in pursuit of physical evidence was evidently used.
Data analysis was done using the grounded theory. The first step was open coding. During that process the data were broken down, examined, compared and conceptualized. After that the focused coding was used to define and clarify themes. The last step was theoretical coding which includes identifying relations between the themes. The research questions picked out as a central theme for this paper were investigated with regard to linear relations, correlations and causal relationships between the variables, which were all measured at the interval level.
The approach used by the researchers considered the relationship between production of knowledge and its concept of reality by actually being there to conduct the interviews and by participant observation and hence the results reflected on the reality, hence producing knowledge of social inquiry.
The approach raises major questions about the ability to separate facts from the values. The researchers used humanism which tends to focus on the unique and extraordinary ability of the human belief in potential for transformation of individual and social existence, emphasis on the development of the mind and body through education. Thus in the questionnaires the level of education and country of origin was considered.
Data concerning the photographic behavior of tourists on a holiday trip was collected by 40 students from Wageningen University during the field research. 40 students were split up into groups of two, which were assigned to different cities in the Netherlands. During the first two days the research was conducted in Delft, Rotterdam, Kinderdijk or in Den Haag and Scheveningen. On the third day the field work was done in Amsterdam.
Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland and one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands. Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Kinderdijk is the UNESCO heritage site and very famous for its windmills. Den Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and Scheveningen is modern Dutch seaside resort. Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands, the Dutch city with the highest population of the country and known for its red-light district.
Data concerning the photographic behavior of tourists on a holiday trip was collected using mixed methods of data collection which is an approach to professional research that combines collection and analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative research methods are usually deductive and hypotheses were generated and tested. Participant observation was done as a method of qualitative research whereby the participants being at the destinations observed behaviors of different tourists. The participants observed were chosen by using the four sample methods of Martin and Bateson (1986), as cited in Bryman (2008): focal sampling, scan sampling libitum sampling and behavior sampling.
This design was used because it allowed the researcher to collect and analyze data within a short period of time.
Period of data collection: 3 days
Study population: 928 tourists
Sampling unit: Tourist
Definition of Variables
Independent variable: Frequency of general photo taking
Dependent variable: Tourist’s positive emotions
Questionnaires were administered to the respondents and the researchers filled in the data.
Data analysis and presentation
Data were collected, tabulated and keyed in a computer for statistical analysis using scientific program of social sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics were used to describe data such as frequencies and percentages.
The underlying values and motivations of the research project
The general research question was derived from the phenomenon of the tourists’ photographic behaviors.
The researchers used a cross-sectional study design which allows respondents to be interviewed only once. This does not allow for follow up of the study population.
In the distribution of questionnaires accidental sampling was used, which is a non-probability sampling method. Indeed, the non-probability sampling does not allow generalization.
Communication problems during completion of the questionnaires were remarkable. Especially many of the Asian and French respondents had problems with English language and did not understand all the questions.
Lack of privacy during answering the questions may have led to manipulation of the outcome.
Bad weather conditions such as rain made the process of answering questions quite displeasing for many respondents.
The literature review seeks to engage debate that there exists a relation between the two variables, for example “Happiness” and “photographic behavior”. According to the research, it is important to do a literature review on the two variables, such as “happiness” and “photographic behavior”. Plus, it could be helpful to collect some information about relation between the two variables and holiday trips in general. As a result, the reader should be provided with the most necessary knowledge on the key terms of the research question (Lena Okuhn & Julia Hammacher).
The research comes up with the concept of tourists taking photos to capture the moment and to be able to revisit that moment later when they wish to. It also reveals that digital cameras are the most popular device to take photos and that these photos are an important reminder of the holiday experience. Thus, the tourists usually want to share the photos with their friends and family after arriving back home. Due to the increasing usage of the internet, especially the new social media like Facebook, twitter etc., the role of holiday photography has even increased. Land and seascapes are the most common objectives for taking photos, according to Prideaux and Coghlan (2010).
Ed Diener (2000) concludes that temperament and personality seem to influence people’s SWB due to the fact that individuals often adapt to good or bad conditions. Further, he emphasizes the impact of cultural and societal factors.
From Diener’s point of view, lasting happiness may come from such activities as working for one’s goals, participating in close social relationships, experiencing renewable physical and mental pleasures, as well as being involved in flow activities (Diener, 2000). Adaption also seems to be an important topic in context to happiness (Lyubomirsky, 2001).
The approach used by the researchers defined the causality by trying to give reasons and illustrations as to why tourists take photos and how this may have a positive impact on their happiness. This can be seen from the literature review above.
The number of respondents interviewed was 928 from 66 different countries. The Dutch were the majority with 19.94%, followed by the German (9.38%), Americans (8.94%) and Britons (7.76%). 24.68% of the respondents from Netherlands currently live within the country and the rest live abroad. It was also observed that the majority of respondents come from Europe – 61.92% followed by the Americans – 17.58 %, Asians accounted 16.50 % and 3.2 % come from Australia and Africans were the least with 0.8%. Most of the respondents, 52.87%, were female and 47.13% – male. The majority of the respondents (30.5%) were in the age class of 21-30, 27.8% were between 31 and 50, 19.6% belonged to the interval of 51-65 years old, 12.3% are younger than 20 and lastly, 9.4% are older than 65. 362 respondents had university degrees, 212 had high school education, 208 respondents had college education and the minority, 138 people, had graduate studies diplomas. 57.9% of the tourists had spent 1-5 nights in the Netherlands, 13.7 % had not stayed overnight for various reasons.