The science behind our insatiable need to binge-watch TV

It turns out we’re wired to watch episode after episode after episode

British psychologist Edward B Titchener, active at the turn of the 20th century, might argue that we become glued to complex, emotionally-charged stories because of our ability to recognize the feelings of others. A newly identified phenomenon at the time, Titchener coined the term “empathy” in 1909. In addition to identifying others’ discomfort or elation, this branch of “cognitive empathy” examines how humans can also adopt others’ psychological perspectives, including those of fictional characters. Psychological tests (through the use of puppets, pictures, and videos) have even been developed to study empathy in preschool-aged children.

Neuro-economist Paul Zak of Claremont Graduate University in California set out to examine the science of empathy in storytelling.


Psychological tests (through the use
of puppets, pictures, and videos)
have even been developed to 
study empathy in preschool-aged children.