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This study focuses on the expanding trend of marathon (“binge”) television viewing. It examines the personality antecedents of such media consumption (attachment style, depression, and self-regulation deficiency) as well as the psychological experiences of marathon viewers relative to the narrative (transportation, enjoyment) and its characters (parasocial relationship, identification). In a two-study design, theoretical models of media use and involvement, on one hand, and models of media addiction, on the other hand, are applied to predict the extent of marathon viewing and to compare it with “traditional” viewing. Results advance understanding of enjoyment and involvement theory and support cognitive theories of media addiction. At the same time, the study’s findings reveal that marathon television viewers are active both cognitively and emotionally during and after the media exposure, thus alleviating some concerns about the “problematic” nature of the “binge” viewing phenomenon.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Mass Communication and Society, volume 21, issue 3, in 2018, available online at DOI: 10.1080/15205436.2017.1422765. It may differ slightly from the final version of record.


Taylor & Francis



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