Binge-watching leads to poorer sleep, less family time in front of the TV and even less enjoyment of the content. But at the same time could it also generate better learning outcomes and higher completion rates? That’s the question toyed with in “Binge Consumption of Online Content,” a research project that took place at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Researcher Eric Bradlaw, a professor of marketing at Wharton, is no stranger to research on binge behaviors. A couple of years ago he researched the impact for marketers of customer “clumping” behavior — extended periods of inactivity punctuated with short, intense buying bursts. This time, he teamed up with another professor of marketing, J. Wesley Hutchinson, and doctoral candidate Joy Lu, to analyze online learning data. The goal: to understand the connection between content consumption and the “long-run accumulation of knowledge.”

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