Top of page
Skip to main content
Main content

2021 Honors Thesis: Peter (Tun Shuo) Lee


Peter (Tun Shuo) Lee

Title of Thesis:

One More Episode? An Analysis of Overconfident Behavior in Video-streaming Consumers


Kelli LanierBlake AllisonManuela Manetta (Mathematics), Julio Medina (Dance)


Binge-watching, and inability to switch from the enjoyable activity of watching television has always been a staple complaint of students and adult members of the society alike. This issue is especially pronounced following the rise in popularity for subscription-based video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Streamers find themselves under-projecting their viewing hours, and unable to change their behaviors despite the direct costs to productivity and time. Heuristically, these are signs of overconfidence. The purpose of this study is to bring the phenomenon of overconfidence from the realm of anecdotal accounts to the spotlight of experimental studies regarding overconfident consumer behavior in this rising, scarcely explored industry, by experimentally garnering support for the existence of overconfidence in streamers, and relating it to consumer irrationalities like addiction and emotional investment. The study deployed surveys to the undergraduate population at Emory University, collecting data regarding their subscription profile duration of ownership, frequency of usage, regularly watched content, etc. and psychological connections to their subscription services. Participants were asked to log predicted and actual streaming hours over a span of a month. Evidence for both definitions of overconfidence was found. Significant differences between predicted and actual consumption  an underestimation gap of 1 hour  was found. Participants also display a tendency to increase consumption by another hour after notified of underestimation behavior, a delay in learning. While regression of the underestimation gap and delay in learning with psychological and subscription profiles was unfruitful, the existence of overconfidence is supported, setting the stage for future works in the topic.

Return to 2021 Honors Graduates Page