13:59 GMT27 September 2020
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    When it comes to guilty pleasures, it is surely one that very few of us have not succumbed too at some point. Snuggled up on the sofa, bottle of wine close by, enough chocolate to feed an army... and the devilish prospect of watching episode after episode of your favorite television series.

    Whether it be Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, or even The West Wing, sometimes you simply can't get enough of a good thing — even if it means sitting there for hours on end staring at the box.

    According to a new survey published by First Monday, this latest craze is bad for us — and strangely, makes it less "memorable" and "enjoyable" than tuning in every week.

    Despite Netflix claiming nearly two thirds of its users regularly gorge themselves on sitting through as many as six episodes in one sitting, researchers now argue that it is far from satisfactory viewing.

    6 Straight Hours of TV

    A recent study by academics at the University of Melbourne, Australia, insists binging actually diminishes the quality of the television show.

    Graduates at the university were split into three groups to watch a one-hour long television show The Game at different frequencies.

    One tuned in on a weekly basis, another watched it on a daily basis, while the remainder consumed the whole series in one sitting, totaling six straight hours of television.

    A day later all the students were asked to fill out a questionnaire to gauge how well they understood the series together with what details they could remember.

    Similar tests were carried out a week later, and 140 days after finishing the series to test their memories.

    Shows 'Made for Binging'

    The researchers found binge-watchers had the strongest memory immediately, but failed to retain this over 140 days.

    Weekly watchers showed the weakest memory short-term, but reported the least amount of dilution over time.

    "This is perhaps a counterintuitive finding, given the increased popularity of binge-watching," said lead study author Jared Hovarth.

    He admitted that the setting of the tests was possibly not ideal, having been carried out in a lab environment rather than at home. Furthermore the choice of show may have also had an effect as some shows are "made for binging."

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    Tags:
    binge-watching, TV show, entertainment, TV series, television, memory, study, Game of Thrones, Melbourne University, Netflix, Amazon
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