Exploring experiences of binge-watching and perceived addictiveness among binge-watchers: a qualitative study

Yen Jung Chang*, Ching Yi Peng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Recent advances in technology and the Internet have led to the emergence of a phenomenon known as binge-watching. This qualitative study aims to explore experiences and perceptions of binge-watching behavior. The criteria of behavioral addiction were used to examine the characteristics of binge-watching behavior. Methods: We recruited 25 self-identified binge-watchers in Taiwan and conducted seven focus-group interviews with them in 2019 and 2020. Before their interview, the participants were asked to complete a brief questionnaire to collect information on their sociodemographic characteristics and binge-watching frequency. Results: The participants defined binge-watching behavior as consecutively watching episodes of shows with continuous content, rather than based on the time spent watching or the number of episodes watched. While they felt it may affect their daily routine, they mentioned almost no impacts on their health. Most participants emphasized the pleasure and social functions of binge-watching. This differs from previous studies, which have suggested an association between binge-watching and negative emotions. Notably, while most participants considered binge-watching to be an addictive behavior, they denied that they themselves were addicted. Conclusions: Our participants generally reported positive attitudes toward binge-watching. The addictiveness of binge-watching remains controversial. Further studies exploring the possibility of addictive binge-watching and potential mechanisms are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2285
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Keywords

  • Addictive behaviors
  • Binge-watching
  • Focus-group interview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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