Savannah Grasmick – How Binge Watching Affects The Viewer

Dear Reader,

My topic question is “how does binge-watching TV affect a person?” I chose this topic because it allowed me to keep a similar topic to what I used in Module 1 where I wrote about the Netflix original series: Tiger King. The sources I decided to include in this annotated bibliography come from the many sides of the argument, such as being against watching a lot of TV, and even studies finding little correlation between how much TV a person watches and their day-to-day habits. I found it appropriate and necessary to also include an article specifically about the pandemic and how that has contributed to this issue. I learned that from what we can see right now is that binge-watching TV does not have many terribly negative long term effects, but that there is also no way to know that right now. I would like the reader to see if any important aspect of my topic is missing and what it is, and what other factors I can take into consideration about the contribution to increase in binge-watching.



Savannah Grasmick


Kilian, Carolin, et al. “Neural Correlates of Response Inhibition and Performance Monitoring in Binge Watching.” International Journal of Psychophysiology, vol. 158, Dec. 2020, pp. 1–8. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2020.09.003.

This article focuses more on the specific physical effects binge-watching can have on a person’s brain and less on simply just the motivation behind binge watching. According to Kilian, a few specific examples that binge-watching can have on a person’s health is sleep problems, an unhealthy lifestyle in general, and reduction of social interactions and involvement in other activities. Kilian compares binge-watching to the addictiveness of playing video games or using a smartphone, which is another form of addiction most people experience to some extent in their day-to-day lives. Kilian continues to explain how binge-watching has addictive potential that can lead to a cognitive decline, giving the person lack of cognitive control to say no in situations, and specifically in this situation, the person has a lack of control or a lack of motivation to stop watching the TV series. Furthermore, the article explains an in-depth study on 35 adults that do binge-watch TV and 33 adults that do not binge-watch TV. The study consisted of some questions and some interactive tasks, and both groups had similar outcomes in this study, showing that the negative effects binge watching commonly has on an average person are very low. The author Carolin Kilian has a Masters of Science, which makes her credible to be conducting such research and presenting it in such a way that can clear up many of the effects binge-watching can have on a person. However, it is understood that more long-term research may need to be done to see any more likely effects of binge-watching.

This article focuses on how binge-watching affects the brain in particular, and can contribute to an aspect of my research that’s more neurological as opposed to behavioral.


Ort, Alexander, et al. “Is Binge-Watching Addictive? Effects of Motives for TV Series Use on the Relationship between Excessive Media Consumption and Problematic Viewing Habits.” Addictive Behaviors Reports, vol. 13, June 2021. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.abrep.2020.100325.

This article discusses the growth and the significance of binge-watching a TV series, and the factors that contribute to it, and to what extent it becomes a problematic habit that can interfere with a person’s health and personal life. Ort begins by touching on the increasing prevalence of streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and many more. It is estimated that by the year 2024 streaming services will have around one billion subscribers, meaning that countless people all over the world will have the privilege of having any TV show at their disposal to watch endlessly. The question that now arises is when does binge-watching become an unhealthy behavior to practice?  The article determined that the definition of binge-watching is watching three or more episodes in one sitting, however, understanding that the length of each episode can contribute to variance in binge-watching. Ort orchestrated an in-depth questionnaire to determine how problematic and addictive binge-watching can be. 415 adult U.S citizens were surveyed for this study. The overall outcome of the questionnaire found that the frequency that one chooses to binge-watch is the leading factor in how problematic it becomes and how much it interferes with a person’s personal life. Alexander Ort studies addictive behaviors which makes his eligibility for doing this in-depth study on the motivations and behaviors of binge watching credible, and all of the data he discovered is included in the article, letting the data speak for itself in this matter.

This study is helpful to my topic because it truly evaluates the tendencies of binge watching and dictates when binge-watching becomes a problem. This is one of my sources that gives hard facts about the topic.


Phoebe Luckhurst. “My Binge-Watching Record Is 13 Episodes of The OC in One Day and Netflix Knows I Am Addicted.” The London Evening Standard (London, England), 7 Jan. 2020, p. 15. EBSCOhost,

This article by Phoebe Luckhurst is an entertaining personal story of her addiction to Netflix and binge-watching TV shows, specifically the shows called The OC and Breaking Bad. She joked about how you know you’ve gone too far when you constantly hear the show’s theme song echoing in your mind, or if a streaming service has a pop-up that comes on at the end of so many hours of watching asking if you are still there. She informs the audience that even certain hospitals are treating people addicted to watching TV by treating these patients with “a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling.” This is credible because it is a personal story of someone struggling with binge-watching TV which is the topic I am studying. It makes it relevant and relatable and Luckhurst’s humorous tone in her article lightens up the topic’s mood.


Werneck, André O., et al. “Physical Inactivity and Elevated TV-Viewing Reported Changes during the COVID-19 Pandemic Are Associated with Mental Health: A Survey with 43,995 Brazilian Adults.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research, vol. 140, Jan. 2021. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110292.

This article puts more of a focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and how that increased the average adult’s TV intake, and how in return, that impacted the person’s mental health. The study included everything from physical activity before and after the pandemic, and time spent watching television before and after the pandemic. The survey was conducted among 43,995 adults, and to no surprise, a significant decline in physical activity was found, aligned with a significant increase in television viewing. The study took it a step further and compared the inactivity and increased TV watching to mental health rates and effects including depression, sadness, and loneliness. Again, to no surprise, the conclusion that had come about found that the less active a person was, the more they reported feelings of sadness and loneliness, and the more their mental health was negatively impacted, regardless of any previous health conditions. This study helps broaden my topic and make my paper more relevant to today’s time, considering the pandemic. The author: André O. Werneck has a PhD in the department of nutrition, meaning he is knowledgeable in public health and a person’s general well-being, making this study credible and beneficial to my topic.

I like this source in relevance to my topic of binge-watching because it brings relevance to what is happening in today’s time with COVID-19 and quarantine. The pandemic is a major factor as to why binge-watching rates have gone up and I believe that it is important to touch on that.


“What TV Binge-Watching Does to Your Brain.” Consumer Health News (English), 12 Aug. 2019. EBSCOhost,

This article is quick, simple, and to the point. It is definitely biased and leans more towards the direction that is strongly against binge watching TV. A neurologist at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas leans in to inform people that binge watching becomes unhealthy when it causes one to lose sleep and leads to a decrease in physical activity. He continues on to provide suggestions on how to wean off of addictive binge watching habits, such as taking a walk before you watch TV, replacing the snacks you eat while watching with something healthier, and watching with other people helps increase your social time, and will cause you to most likely naturally watch less TV. This article is credible because the author is a certified neurologist with a PhD who works at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. Meaning he is certified to be analyzing this situation and suggesting these solutions to people.

This article is beneficial to my topic of binge-watching because it provides a solution. We already know what caused the increase in binge-watching and what characteristics it as being problematic and unhealthy, and this article provides insight on how to fix that once that is realized.


My topic question is “how does binge-watching TV affect a person?” I was originally going to keep it focused on how binge-watching affects the brain, but I found more information while researching how it affects a person and their health and well-being in general. This also provides a very wholesome, multi-faceted approach to the topic. A few of the sources I decided to include found little change in a person’s behaviors based on their TV watching habits, while another source I included was strongly against binge-watching and firmly suggesting how to fix that habit. I would like to find more information on the suggested amount of screentime a person should have, and see how that number has changed overtime. I predict I will find that over time, the suggested amount of screen time will have gone up, because especially with so much work and school moved to online due to the pandemic, more screen time is almost expected; whether it is suggested or not is another story.

Similarly, it is important to keep in mind the time period we are in of this COVID-19 pandemic. That is why I included the article about how the stay-at-home order during the pandemic encouraged an increase in TV watching and a decrease in physical activity. This same article compared people’s behaviors in those two areas with their mental health and mental health is a very important aspect of my topic.

Another important aspect of my research is how it affects the brain, and not just the clear differences in a person’s behavior. Repetitively doing something, such as watching TV, triggers something in a person’s mind to almost become dependent on it, and I would like to find more research about that topic. I would say that the sources I have included in this annotated bibliography do answer the majority of my questions, but I would like to find more information specifically about the suggested screen time, and more specific terms of how it affects the brain.