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See detailNon-problematic and problematic binge-watchers do not differ on prepotent response inhibition: A preregistered pilot experimental study
Flayelle, Maèva; Verbruggen, Frederick; Schiel, Julie et al

in Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies (2020), 2

Binge‐watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of a TV series back‐to‐back) has become standard viewing practice. Yet, this phenomenon has recently generated concerns regarding its potential negative ... [more ▼]

Binge‐watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of a TV series back‐to‐back) has become standard viewing practice. Yet, this phenomenon has recently generated concerns regarding its potential negative outcomes on the long run. The presumed addictive nature of this behavior has also received increasing scientific interest, with preliminary findings reporting associations between binge‐watching, self‐control impairments, and heightened impulsivity. Nevertheless, previous studies only relied on self‐report data. The current preregistered study therefore investigated whether non‐problematic and problematic binge‐watchers differ not only in self‐report but also in experimental measures of behavioral impulsivity. Based on their viewing characteristics, 60 TV series viewers were allocated to one of three predetermined groups: non‐binge‐watchers, trouble‐free binge‐watchers (absence of negative impact) and problematic binge‐watchers (presence of negative impact). Participants performed tasks assessing response inhibition (Stop‐Signal Task) and impulsive reward seeking (Delay Discounting Task), and completed self‐reported questionnaires on sociodemographics, affect, symptoms of problematic binge‐watching, and impulsive personality traits. According to the preregistered analytic plan, one‐way analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) were computed to compare the predetermined groups. With gender being controlled for, no differences were identified in self‐report impulsivity and response inhibition abilities. Trouble‐free binge‐watchers reported higher rates of delay discounting than non‐binge‐watchers. Although preliminary, our results challenge the notion that problematic binge‐watching is characterized by the same neuropsychological impairments as in addictive disorders as, contrary to our preregistered hypotheses, no differences emerged between non‐problematic and problematic binge‐watchers regarding self‐control variables considered as hallmarks of the latter. These results suggest the need for formulating and testing alternative conceptualizations of problematic binge‐watching. [less ▲]

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See detailClarifying the Role of Negative Emotions in the Origin and Control of Impulsive Actions.
Eben, Charlotte; Billieux, Joël UL; Verbruggen, Frederick

in Psychologica Belgica (2020), 60(1), 1-17

This critical review elaborates on the origin of impulsive actions and how these can be controlled. We focus in particular on the role of negative events. First, we outline how impulsive actions often ... [more ▼]

This critical review elaborates on the origin of impulsive actions and how these can be controlled. We focus in particular on the role of negative events. First, we outline how impulsive actions often originate from negative events that are (emotionally) appraised. A discrepancy between this current state and a desired goal state leads to action tendencies. The urgency of the resulting action depends on the importance of the goal and the size of the discrepancy. Second, we discuss how such impulsive actions can be regulated or controlled e.g. by biasing competition between different options, or by completely suppressing all motor output. Importantly, such control mechanisms might also depend on emotional factors. To reconcile these findings, we present a coherent theoretical framework, taking into account various cognitive, affective, and motivational mechanisms as well as contextual factors that play a crucial role in the origin and control of impulsive actions. [less ▲]

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