Watching repeats of favourite programmes could give people the mental refreshment they need to complete a challenge. That's the finding of Dr Jaye Derrick, a psychologist at the University of Buffalo. She asked individuals to write about their daily activities, reporting on difficult tasks, media use and energy levels. Those who had previously struggled with a problem were found to be more likely to seek out the reassurance of a familiar television show.
Diary entries indicated renewed drive in the participants who watched repeats, as well as those who turned to a favourite film or book. The artificial relationship people build with the characters in their favourite storylines is comforting, and familiarity with the plot allows the mind to relax. Those who had watched a new episode of a favourite series did not experience the same benefits.
“I would argue that watching television is not all bad,” says Derrick, who works at the University of Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions. “Watching a favourite television show can provide a variety of benefits, which may enhance overall wellbeing.”
Written by Sacha Torregrosa-Jones