Study Examines Whether Spoilers Spoil the Fun, and Determines … Well, We Don’t Want to Spoil It

Aug 15, 2011  •  Post A Comment

A new study by the University of California at San Diego suggests that so-called “spoilers” — such as a paragraph early in a book that tips off how it will end — don’t necessarily spoil the fun, according to Reuters.

The study found that readers preferred stories with a spoiling paragraph written into the story, after looking at writings by authors such as Agatha Christie and John Updike, the story says.

"Like most people, I don’t turn to the end of a book to see who dies or what happens," said researcher Nicholas Christenfeld, who said he was surprised by the study’s results.

Each story was read by as many as 30 people and presented in two formats, one in the original version and the other with a spoiling paragraph inserted into it, the piece notes.

"Plots are just excuses for great writing," Christenfeld said. In some cases, a book can be reread or a movie seen multiple times and still be enjoyable, he noted.

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