Read tha article, it struck me as one of those "All these things can be meaningful, if they are..." sort of conclusions. Lots of variables, and perhaps "wild cards."
A more legitimate study would ask for a real world 24/7 approach, as in sample 3 groups - give one group cameras and instruct them to take lots of photos and not worry about content, one group who only take photos they think might be "good" and one group who take no photos at all. All of this would take place as people lived their actual lives, going to work, eating lunch in the break room, going home and taking care of those important people and things that will not go away, etc.
I would be an outlier, I've shot assignments including weddings (never again!!!), theater, dance, concerts, sports etc. I've also worked with models and actors, planned and executed creative shoots - https://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/44588370
- and just taken a camera along for fun. I often photograph items I want to sell, always trying to make any defects clear since I sell used items as-found quite often.
This morning I photographed some of the litter our overpaid landscaping service is supposed to be cleaining up but aren't at our condo association grounds (I'm the president of the board of directors, a dubious distinction at best).
Mind you, none of this is a truly higher level and I've found myself far more engaged by my guitar than I've ever been by my camera.
Which is fine, but point being I wouldn't fall into the norm for these sorts of studies and find it impossible to imagine prefering to take photos in all circumstances.
A few years back I found myself in Palm Springs CA, taking the tram up the side of the mountain (this is something EVERYBODY should do at least once!!!!). I was with my mother, brother and two sisters, we were having a great time together. I was so glad that none of us had a camera!!!!! I don't know how the rest of them felt but none of them brought a camera or tried to use their cell phone to take photos.
No conclusion here, the article got me thinking and that is good. Cheers, Kuru