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Watching reruns is good for you

Law and Order screen grab

blog by S.J. Velasquez  • 

If you’re like me, and you’ve watched every episode of “The Office” and “Saved by the Bell” at least three times, don’t feel so bad about it, couch potato friend.

A UB study reveals that watching reruns of favorite, familiar shows is good for your health. Indulging in the watching of reruns has psychological benefits, including enhanced self-control, the study found.

Jaye Derrick, from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions, led two studies confirming the stress-reducing nature of television-watching. He found that fictional social interactions (like watching familiar characters on TV), rather than real person-to-person interactions, helped reduce fatigue after a stressful situation.

“There are a lot of benefits you can get from close relationships, but there are also a lot of problems: you have to put up with someone else’s needs, you have to get through fights, there are conflicts of interest …,” Derrick said in a Windsor Star interview. “Fictional worlds can be a way of seeking connection to others without having all the strings attached.”

So what’s the difference between watching a season premier or an old episode? Derrick explained that the familiar rerun doesn’t involve much thought or energy—it’s more about enjoying the familiar show and getting “positive mood benefits” from it.


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