People who are more depressed and lonely tend to indulge in watching marathon sessions of the TV shows, reveals a new study.
Yoon Hi Sung, Eun Yeon Kang and Wei-Na Lee from the University of Texas at Austin conducted a survey on 316 18- to 29-year-olds on how often they watched TV; how often they had feelings of loneliness, depression and self-regulation deficiency; and finally on how often they binge-watched TV.
They found that the more lonely and depressed the study participants were, the more likely they were to binge-watch TV, using this activity to move away from negative feelings.
The findings also showed that those who lacked the ability to control themselves were more likely to binge-watch. These viewers were unable to stop clicking "Next" even when they were aware that they had other tasks to complete.
Little empirical research has been done on binge-watching since it is such a new behavior. Psychological factors such as loneliness, depression, and self-regulation deficiency have been known as important indicators of binge behavior in general.
For example, people engage in addictive behaviors to temporarily forget the reality that involves loneliness and depression. Also, an individual's lack of self-regulation was likely to influence the level of his or her addictive behavior. Therefore, this study tried to understand binge-watching behavior from this set of known factors.
Sung explained that even though some people argue that binge-watching was a harmless addiction, latest findings suggested that binge-watching should no longer be viewed this way.