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Why we binge-watch our favorite shows

There are three elements to why we "waste" time watching what we already know.

Pop culture is a relentless machine of newness - yet all of us have spent endless hours of our lives watching movies and TV shows we have already seen.

So why, when there's so much new content, do we waste time watching stories we already know?

RELATED: Netflix's most binged shows of 2018

First there's nostalgia. Researchers say we repeat pop culture experiences because they help us remember the past. And the act of remembering the past, in this context, feels good.

There's also therapeutic reasons. It puts us at ease. 

There's no surprises - because we know exactly what's going to happen. Sometimes we don't want to put in the time into trying out a new show, only to end up hating it.

There's also a small existential element.

If you watch a show you haven't seen since you were 10, it feels like opening a time capsule. Those old memories are intertwined with the present, providing you with new insight and perspective into whatever you are revisiting.

So the next time you feel obligated to try something different, remember - science has given you a free pass to watch Dumb and Dumber for the 100th time, even though you could probably recite it from memory.

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