Like many studies, Jessica Kruger’s foray into researching binge-watching began with a good story.
Kruger, who is now at the University at Buffalo, was a Ph.D. candidate in health education at the University of Toledo. She was talking with a fellow doctoral candidate who had spent her weekend watching tons of episodes of the popular Netflix series “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey.
Kruger’s first thought? “That’s probably not healthy for you.”
So, Kruger and her colleague—Monita Karmakar, now a senior statistician in the Department of Surgery at Michigan Medicine—set out to study whether binge-watching had any deleterious health effects. They were particularly interested in whether it affected college students’ academic achievement and overall health.
They were among the first scientists to look into this. In fact, they struggled getting some of their initial papers on the subject accepted. At that time, binge-watching…