Science Says That Stumbling Across Spoilers Is Actually Good For You
We beg to differ, but who can argue with research?
Vindication for anyone out there who gathers up all the spoilers they can get about their favourite TV show before reeling them off at everyone they've ever met, because it turns out spoilers as a whole *can* enhance the viewing experience.
Let's all get checking out an update from MTV News...
We know it sounds ludicrous, but this claim is backed up by solid evidence so we can't be too rude. According to a study by Nicholas Christenfeld for UC San Diego in 2011, knowing what happens in a story doesn't diminish its appeal at all. Quite the opposite.
The argument is that people don't really watch programmes to figure out the ending, but to enjoy the plot as it unfolds in front of them. It goes some way in explaining why we watch our favourite film over and over again despite knowing how it concludes.
“The point is, really we're not watching these things for the ending,” Nicholas said in a 2016 article published by University of California News. “I point out to the skeptics, people watch these movies more than once happily, and often with increasing pleasure.”
As part of the research into this experiment, a team of researchers had subjects read a bunch of short stories from different genres. In one of the practise groups, the ending of the story was deliberately ruined before the subjects even started reading.
Weirdly enough, the group that already knew the ending actually enjoyed the stories more.
“Across all three genres, spoilers actually were enhancers," the research concluded. “When people go to see Romeo and Juliet, they don't think, ‘Don't tell me how it ends!' All's Well That Ends Well? That one ends well. So there isn't any thought that with these great works of fiction, knowing the ending is going to ruin them.”
Of course, each and every person out there has their own opinion of spoilers, and we can all agree that this study doesn't give your idiot best friend an excuse to spill what happens in the Game Of Thrones finale before you've seen it.
Thoughts? Let us know with a tweet @MTVUK.