'Switching off': A diary study investigating the effect of the Netflix auto-play feature on binge-watching and mindful attention awareness
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Binge-watching is pervasive in modern society and although it can be a positive experience for many, it is a sedentary activity and may have negative health consequences. Previous research has focused on the psychological antecedents and motives that contribute to the behaviour. In addition, research has shown that technology may be employed to encourage binge-watching and demonstrated a link between recommender systems and binge-watching. The current research used a quasi-experimental design to examine the effect of the auto-play feature on binge-watching and mindful attention awareness. One hundred and one participants were recruited using a combination of purposive and convenience sampling. The results show that while switching the Netflix auto-play feature off significantly decreases binge-watching, neither this nor binge-watching affects mindful attention awareness. This study contributes to the literature on binge-watching by examining the role of the auto-play function on the behaviour. In an era where an increased awareness of digital well-being exists, these findings may have important implications for the design of video streaming services.
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