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With the accessibility of television programs provided by popular streaming platforms, like Netflix, consumers can watch episodes or seasons of their favorite programming in just one sitting. This new practice of watching television has been referred to as binge-watching, and is defined by Netflix as watching two to six episodes of the same show in one sitting. Netflix’s definition is the most widely used definition of binge-watching, but does not account for the varying lengths of episodes for the different types of programming. There is a lack of standardization in what constitutes a television binge, like the standards that exist for other binge behaviors, and a lack of research conducted about how these new television watching practices affect health and wellness. To bring awareness to television binging habits and encourage further research of this subject, I studied the neurocognitive and behavioral motivations and effects of excess indulgence to propose a new definition for binge-watching. I found high patterns of television use were associated with increased risk for heart disease and all-cause mortality, poorer cognitive function in midlife, shortened leukocyte telomere length, and disrupted circadian rhythm patterns, independent of factors such as physical activity and family history. I assessed binge-watching in comparison to binge-drinking and used the format of a study on the perceptions of binge-drinking to conduct a survey of college students on their television practices and perceptions of what constitutes binge-watching. Using these results and the research discussed, I will propose a standard definition for binge-watching television.

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Subject Major(s)

Photography and Film, Filmmaking Concentration


binge-watching, binge, television, Netflix, streaming platforms


Applied Behavior Analysis | Cognitive Psychology | Health Psychology | Leisure Studies | Science and Technology Studies | Social Psychology

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Professor Mary Boyes


© The Author(s)

The Netflix Effect and Defining Binge-Watching