Are you a creature of habit? Do you like to curl up with a good book knowing that it's good because you've read it before? Will you binge your favorite shows on Netflix over and over even though there are newer titles available to watch? While some people may think you're wasting your time re-watching or re-reading when there are so many new options to explore, science has confirmed that rewatching your favorite show or rereading your favorite book is actually good for you.
A study conducted in 2012 published by The University of Chicago Press in the Journal of Consumer Research has recently resurfaced, illustrating that re-watching your favorite television show can actually bring you happiness. Thanks to streaming networks like Netflix and Hulu, viewers now have more choice than ever to indulge in some nostalgia and re-watch those old series they once loved.
The study shows that those who choose to re-watch — or re-consume as the study calls it — a favorite television show or book do so not because it's easy and routine but because there's a certain joy in being able to find new and exciting differences each time. Re-consuming provides comfort for the watcher or reader in knowing that they'll enjoy the time they've spent indulging in their leisure time. Of course, that choose to re-watch their favorite television shows probably knew that already.
"The reexperiences of books, places, and movies documented in our inquiry were sought not because of the efficiency or automaticity associated with routine purchases but instead because of their richness in meaning, depth, and uplifting abilities," the study stated, adding that those who choose to re-consume a movie, book or television show find it just as rewarding each additional time they watch or read than they did the first time.
"We find that consumers who chose to repeat hedonic experiences even just once are expressing and affirming their individual experience and its special meanings to them," the study's authors Cristel Antonia Russell and Sidney J. Levy found as a result of their study.
Neel Burton, author of Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions, told The Huffington Post that nostalgia also has a lot to do with why we like to re-watch shows we've seen before. "There are a great deal of things that we do not at all feel compelled to re-watch or re-read, particularly in a world in which we have access to virtually limitless entertainment and cultural material. The things that we do feel compelled to re-watch or re-read are those that provide us with either comfort or perspective," Burton stated.
"Our everyday is humdrum, often even absurd," Burton explained. "Nostalgia can lend us much-needed context, perspective and direction, reminding and reassuring us that our life is not as banal as it may seem. It also tells us that there have been -- and will once again be -- meaningful moments and experiences."