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Excessive Media Use in Times of Netflix. “Binge watching”: Motives, Experience, and its Effects on Sleep

English title Excessive Media Use in Times of Netflix. “Binge watching”: Motives, Experience, and its Effects on Sleep
Applicant Fahr Andreas
Number 183181
Funding scheme Digital Lives
Research institution Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft Universität Freiburg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Communication sciences
Start/End 01.12.2018 - 31.10.2020
Approved amount 255'530.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Communication sciences
Psychology

Keywords (7)

Physiological responses to media; Entertainment; Media Use; Sleep Research; Media Dependence; Addiction; Media Exposure

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
2, 3, 4 oder mehr Folgen derselben TV-Serie am Stück zu schauen, ist in Zeiten von Netflix, Amazon Prime und Co. kein Einzelfall mehr. Handelt es sich hier um eine Besorgnis erregende Entwicklung oder muss man sich wegen dieser Form von Medienkonsum keine wirklichen Sorgen machen?
Lay summary
Das Forschungsprojekt stützt sich auf interdisziplinäres Wissen aus der Kommunikationswissenschaft und der Psychologie, um dieses Phänomen exzessiven TV-Konsums – landläufig auch Binge Watching genannt – detaillierter zu untersuchen. Es integriert vier miteinander verbundene Studien, die quantitative und qualitative Methoden einsetzen, um diese Medienrezeptionsform sowohl bei den bei den Zuschauern zuhause als auch im Labor zu beobachten, zu beschreiben und zu erklären. Dabei sollen etwa die Motive, das Rezeptionserleben selbst (z.B. Emotionen, Stress), die unmittelbaren Wirkungen danach sowie die Effekte auf die Schlafqualität unter die Lupe genommen werden. Im Projekt werden eine Reihe von innovativen Tools (Browser-Erweiterungen, Smartphone App, Smartwatch) eingesetzt, die von den Mitgliedern des Forschungsteams entwickelt wurden. Die Kombination dieser Tools im Rahmen dieser Untersuchung einzusetzen, wird es ermöglichen, ihr Potenzial auch für andere Forschungsfragen zu validieren und weiterzuentwickeln, so dass sie für Studien zur Medienexposition und -effekten verwendet werden können. Die Ergebnisse sollen auch konzeptionell und theoretisch die Schnittstellen zwischen geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Disziplinen, zwischen Psychologie und Kommunikationswissenschaft bereichern. Schliesslich werden die Ergebnisse des Projekts die Gestaltung von Interventionen im Bereich der öffentlichen Gesundheit beeinflussen, die Medienkompetenz erhöhen und soziales Bewusstsein schaffen, um Zuschauern mehr Kontrolle über ihren Medienkonsum zu ermöglichen.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.09.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Datasets

Cliffhanger Data

Author Wirz, Dominique Stefanie; Ort, Alexander; Rasch, Björn; Fahr, Andreas
Publication date 12.11.2020
Persistent Identifier (PID) 10.17605/OSF.IO/XKM3T
Repository OSF
Abstract
This dataset contains the data of our study in the media and sleep lab and is linked to the following publication:Wirz, D.S., Ort, A., Rasch, B., & Fahr, A. (revision submitted). Do Cliffhangers Drive Binge-Watching? An Experiment on Cliffhangers’ Effects on Enjoyment, Arousal, and the Intention to Watch the Next Episode. Media Psychology.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Sleep & Health Symposium 2020 Talk given at a conference Netflix, Social Media or Relaxation? The influence of bedtime activities on sleep. 27.11.2020 Zurich, Switzerland Rasch Björn;
Annual Conference of the International Communication Association Talk given at a conference Do Cliffhangers Drive Binge-Watching? Effects of Cliffhangers on Entertainment Experience and the Desire to Continue Watching. 21.05.2020 Gold Coast (online), Australia Wirz Dominique; Fahr Andreas; Ort Alexander;
Annual Meeting of the DGPuK Talk given at a conference Schaust du noch, oder bingest du schon? – Eine Typologisierung von SeriennutzerInnen. [Do you still watch or do you binge-watch? A Typology of TV Series Users.] 10.03.2020 Munich, Germany Wirz Dominique; Ort Alexander; Fahr Andreas;
Annual Meeting of the DGPuK Talk given at a conference Serien schauen ohne Ende: Der Einfluss von Cliffhangern auf das Unterhaltungserleben und die weitere Nutzung von TV-Serien. [The Effect of Cliffhangers on Entertainment Experience and Consecutive Use of TV Series.] 10.03.2020 Munich, Germany Ort Alexander; Fahr Andreas; Wirz Dominique;
Annual Meeting of the Media Reception and Effects Division of DGPuK Talk given at a conference Netflix and Sleep: Eine Studie zum Einfluss von Binge-Watching auf die Schlafqualität. [Netflix and Sleep: A Study on the Effect of Binge-Watching on Sleep Quality.] 23.01.2020 Würzburg, Germany Wirz Dominique; Ort Alexander; Fahr Andreas;
European Conference on Health Communication Talk given at a conference Is binge-watching addictive? – Differential effects of motives for TV-series use on the relationship between excessive media consumption and media addiction. 13.11.2019 Zurich, Switzerland Fahr Andreas; Wirz Dominique; Ort Alexander;
Annual Meeting of the Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research Talk given at a conference Und noch eine Folge… Binge-Watching und das Eintauchen in die Narration einer Serie [And one More Episode… Binge-Watching and the Immersion in the Narration of a Series] 04.04.2019 St. Gallen, Switzerland Ort Alexander; Fahr Andreas; Wirz Dominique;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Binge-watching: Motives, Experiences, and Effects on Sleep 30.10.2020 University of Fribourg (online), Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Nur noch eine Folge universitas-Das Magazin der Universität Freiburg German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2020
Media relations: radio, television Schlaflos wegen Netflix? Dieser Tipp hilft SRF1 German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Und noch eine Folge Universitas German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2020

Abstract

Consuming TV content through the internet has become a common practice in western countries, and the expansion of digital TV has transformed people’s relationship with the medium. In Europe more than 43 million people had a subscription to video-on-demand services by the end of 2016, and these numbers are steadily increasing. Deciding what to watch, when, where, and for how long is completely at the discretion of viewers today. Due to the effects of intense screen use on people’s lives (e.g. sleep quality, arousal, exhaustion, stress, dependence), media addiction in general and TV addiction in particular have intrigued scholars for decades. In particular, with the advent of services such as Netflix - which release full seasons of TV series at once - the interest in dependence has increased and the concept of “binge watching” has become popular. Organizations, such as the Ericsson Consumer Lab, have begun to release data regarding how many people binge watch by generation cohorts, whilst scholars devote time to analyze viewer motivations, attitudes, and effects of binge watching. However, a literature review on the topic reveals, on the one hand, the absence of a coherent definition of the phenomenon and, on the other hand, a lack of empirical investigation that combines both subjective and objective measures to address the determinants and effects of this form of excessive behavior. The proposed project aims to fill this gap by proposing at-home and lab studies to explore excessive internet-distributed TV consumption and relate it to individual characteristics.The project proposes four studies: (1) Focus groups to define and identify the meaning, uses, and gratifications related to excessive media consumption and binge watching; (2) an at-home study to explore viewer motivations, emotional experiences, and physiological responses to this TV consumption; (3) a lab study to additionally investigate viewer levels of stress caused by long periods of TV consumption; and (4) a study to examine the effects of pre-sleep physiological and cognitive arousal induced by excessive TV consumption on sleep parameters measured in the sleep laboratory. Our methodological approach combines objective (physiological, behavioral) and subjective (self-report) measures and links quantitative and qualitative methods. Moreover, it uses digital tools developed by the project’s partners to gather physiological data (e.g. heart rate, movements, sleep architecture) in a non-intrusive manner and, in part, in the viewers’ natural environment. The project forms the first part of a research initiative that conducts experimental studies on excessive consumption of Netflix by gathering international experts from communication, media studies, psychology, and engineering. The results obtained aim to contribute both conceptually and methodologically to the humanities and social sciences disciplines, with a focus on psychology and communication. The project also aims to transfer the academic data obtained for societal utilization by informing the design of public health interventions, increasing media literacy, and creating social awareness to help viewers have more awareness and control over their media consumption. In summary, the project responds to the fundamental aims addressed in the “Digital Lives” call by bringing together specialists from the social sciences and humanities fields to (a) explore a new phenomenon that is proliferated by the increased digitalization and its effects on our everyday lives; (b) develop and validate new methodologies and digital tools that can be applied to further studies on media exposure and effects; and (c) build a network of international scholars by the aid of which larger projects in the future can be designed.
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