The psychology of mukbang watching: a scoping review of the academic and non-academic literature

Kircaburun, K. ORCID: 0000-0002-8678-9078, Harris, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-9627-4900, Calado, F. ORCID: 0000-0003-2906-7279 and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2021. The psychology of mukbang watching: a scoping review of the academic and non-academic literature. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 19, pp. 1190-1213. ISSN 1557-1874

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Internet technology has facilitated the use of a wide variety of different activities and applications in online contexts. Despite a large amount of research regarding these activities including online social networking, online gaming, online shopping, online sex, and online gambling, very little is known regarding online eating shows called ‘mukbang’ (i.e. a portmanteau of the South Korean words for ‘eating’ [‘meokneun’] and ‘broadcast’ [‘bangsong’] that refers to online broadcasts where individuals eat food and interact with the viewers). The present study carried out a scoping review of the academic and non-academic literature (i.e. peer-reviewed publications, academic theses, and the print media) in order to examine the psychological characteristics of mukbang viewers and consequences of mukbang watching. A total of 11 academic outputs from different disciplinary fields (mainly peer-reviewed papers) and 20 articles from national UK newspapers were identified following an extensive literature search. Results from the scoping review indicated that viewers use mukbang watching for social reasons, sexual reasons, entertainment, eating reasons, and/or as an escapist compensatory strategy. Furthermore, mukbang watching appears to have both beneficial consequences (e.g., diminishing feelings of loneliness and social isolation, constructing a virtual social community,) and non-beneficial consequences (e.g., altering food preferences, eating habits, and table manners, promoting disordered eating, potential excess, and ‘addiction’). Implications of the study and directions for future research are also discussed.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Creators: Kircaburun, K., Harris, A., Calado, F. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Springer
Date: August 2021
Volume: 19
ISSN: 1557-1874
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 07 Jan 2020 14:29
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 11:03

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