What makes something beautiful, exactly? Why are we hard-wired to be captivated by certain visual elements? In this weird age in which photographic creativity is continually revolutionized by always-on digital cameras and smartphones, two scientists have come up with a study that explores three specific things about beauty. Their study, called: "Why Do We Memorize Bad Books? The Strong Travelers' Effect on Acquiring Literature," suggests that people who travel even briefly experience an effect similar to the one triggered by the Good Samaritan.

While traveling and volunteering abroad would seem to be accurate boxplots for International Bad Book Month, Ivy University psychology professor Samuel Arbesman reminds us that getting away from one's hometown after a traumatic event can take quite a bit of commitment. As a result, research suggests that people who are far away from home often expect to experience a kind of social anxiety (the need to be safe in a strange place) and strongly associate social support with how pleasant or unpleasant they might find a new place. In his research, Arbesman and colleague James Ingleason have found that travelers who go back home for a vacation tend to acquire novels and stories about the new place loaded with pleasant memories from the trip. They may also plan to talk about it with others. In these new audiences, such books can be pretty good introductions to an unfamiliar culture.

As a result, memoirs especially and novels in English are popular.

Though Arbesman only traveled and gave a talk in Israel on the topic, in this study, Arbesman and Ingleason looked further into what memories might trigger memories for those who have actually completed what parts of global travel. They inspired an online survey in the forms of self-report and questionnaire in English that sampled 389 university students living in the U.S., Israel, Hungary, Poland, and Greece. The survey asked respondents whether they'd ever gone abroad and what kind of activities it involved. Participants who said they took a few days off from school asked their friends to submit a favorite travel experience and to rate it on a 7-point scale; reported trips in Europe and India, in which they spent a few days while abroad, earned a 6.42 out of 7; and failed to make it said an unrated rating. In addition, respondents were given questions on how they would rate the experiences they had while abroad, such as: I have had trips where I spent a few days. My analysis showed a significant link between a country's rating/desire to travel and those participants' reported travel experiences there. The correlation of .16 indicates that U.S.
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