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      Overcoming the unitary exploration of binge-watching: A cluster analytical approach

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          Background and aims

          Binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of a TV series in one session) has recently become standard practice among TV series viewers; this expansion generates concerns regarding the potential negative outcomes associated with this habit. However, the investigation of its psychological correlates remains fragmentary, with few initial studies a priori conceptualizing this behavior as a new addictive disorder. This study explored these psychological correlates using cluster analysis of binge-watching behavior based on three key psychological factors: motivations, impulsivity, and emotional reactivity.


          An online survey was completed by 4,039 TV series viewers. Data were analyzed using hierarchical and non-hierarchical cluster analyses, the validity of the clusters being finally determined through mutual comparisons with a selection of external correlates.


          Four clusters were identified: recreational TV series viewers (presenting low involvement in binge-watching), regulated binge-watchers (moderately involved), avid binge-watchers (presenting elevated but non-problematic involvement), and unregulated binge-watchers (presenting potentially problematic involvement associated with negative outcomes).

          Discussion and conclusions

          This study underlines the heterogeneous and multidetermined nature of binge-watching. Our findings suggest that high engagement in binge-watching is distinct from problematic binge-watching, thus reinforcing the notion that conceptualizing binge-watching as an addictive disorder is of low relevance and might actually lead to the overpathologization of this highly popular leisure activity.

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          Most cited references 88

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          Are we overpathologizing everyday life? A tenable blueprint for behavioral addiction research

          Background Behavioral addiction research has been particularly flourishing over the last two decades. However, recent publications have suggested that nearly all daily life activities might lead to a genuine addiction. Methods and aim In this article, we discuss how the use of atheoretical and confirmatory research approaches may result in the identification of an unlimited list of “new” behavioral addictions. Results Both methodological and theoretical shortcomings of these studies were discussed. Conclusions We suggested that studies overpathologizing daily life activities are likely to prompt a dismissive appraisal of behavioral addiction research. Consequently, we proposed several roadmaps for future research in the field, centrally highlighting the need for longer tenable behavioral addiction research that shifts from a mere criteria-based approach toward an approach focusing on the psychological processes involved.
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            The Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS): some psychometric properties.

            The present study aimed to develop a short, easily administered, psychometrically sound, and valid instrument to assess the severity of compulsive Internet use. A set of criteria was determined based on the addiction literature. Next, the internal consistency and convergent validity were determined, and the set was tested as a one-factor solution in two representative samples of heavy Internet users (n = 447 and n = 229) and in one large convenience sample of regular Internet users (n = 16,925). In these three studies, respondents were asked about their online behavior and about problems related to Internet use. In the first study, the Online Cognition Scale (OCS) was included to determine concurrent validity. The newly developed Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS) contains 14 items ratable on a 5-point Likert scale. The instrument showed good factorial stability across time and across different samples and subsamples. The internal consistency is high, and high correlations with concurrent and criterion variables demonstrate good validity.
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              Uses and Gratifications Research


                Author and article information

                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                20 September 2019
                September 2019
                : 8
                : 3
                : 586-602
                [1 ]Addictive and Compulsive Behaviours Lab (ACB-Lab), Institute for Health and Behaviour, University of Luxembourg , Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
                [2 ]Laboratory for Experimental Psychopathology (LEP), Psychological Sciences Research Institute, Université catholique de Louvain , Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
                [3 ]Hôpital Universitaire Paul Brousse, Service d’addictologie, Université Paris Saclay, Equipe d’Accueil Université Paris Sud PSYCOMADD, Villejuif, France
                [4 ]Clinical Psychophysiology Laboratory (CLIPSLAB), Institute for Health and Behaviour, University of Luxembourg , Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
                [5 ]Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne , Lausanne, Switzerland
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding authors: Maèva Flayelle; Addictive and Compulsive Behaviours Lab (ACB-Lab), Institute for Health and Behaviour, Université du Luxembourg, Maison des Sciences Humaines, 11, Porte des Sciences, L-4366, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg; Phone: +352 46 66 44 5332; Fax: +352 46 66 44 39207; E-mail: maeva.flayelle@ ; Joël Billieux; Addictive and Compulsive Behaviours Lab (ACB-Lab), Institute for Health and Behaviour, Université du Luxembourg, Maison des Sciences Humaines, 11, Porte des Sciences, L-4366, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg; Phone: +352 46 66 44 9207; Fax: +352 46 66 44 39207; E-mail: joel.billieux@
                © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 112, Pages: 17
                Funding sources: The work of Pierre Maurage (Senior Research Associate) is funded by the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS, Belgium).
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