Spoilers still cool


Die Uni California wärmt ihre 5 Jahre alte Studie zu Spoilern nochmal auf, in der Psychologen feststellten, dass Spoiler die Rezeption der Story verbessern und man bekannte Geschichten sehr viel mehr genießt. Neues gibt es an der Meldung „Spoiler alert: spoilers make you enjoy stories more“ nicht, außer ’nem Youtube-Video. (Bild oben: Olly Moss’ Spoiler-Shirt.)

Intuitively, killing the surprise seems like it should make a narrative less enjoyable. Yet research has found that having extra information about artworks can make them more satisfying, as can the predictability of an experience. So Christenfeld decided to put spoilers to the test in the most straightforward way possible: by spoiling stories for people.

In the initial experiment, his team had subjects read short stories from various genres. One group simply read a story and rated how much they liked it at the end. The other group did the same, but the researchers spoiled the narrative, as if by accident, by giving them a short introduction.

„In this, the classic story in which the woman murders her husband with a frozen leg of lamb…“, said Christenfeld nonchalantly as an example. „What we found, remarkably, was if you spoil stories they actually enjoy them more.“

Christensen repeated the experiment with three different genres: mystery stories containing a „whodunit“ moment; ironic twist stories, where a surprise ending crystallizes the whole story; and literary fiction with a neat resolution.

„Across all three genres spoilers actually were enhancers“, said Christenfeld. „The term is wrong.“