Do you avoid spoilers like Xander Harris avoided commitment? Do you think people who spoil movies and TV shows should be forced to compete in the Hunger Games? Well, you might want to rethink those thoughts: It turns out that spoilers don't actually ruin your enjoyment of entertainment.
In fact, according to researchers, knowing what's happening next may increase your satisfaction with the experience.
A press release from the University of California, San Diego, reads:
Subjects significantly preferred the spoiled versions of ironic-twist stories, where, for example, it was revealed before reading that a condemned man's daring escape is all a fantasy before the noose snaps tight around his neck.
Researchers offer suggestions as to why their subjects enjoy spoiled versions of stories more than unspoiled: One suggested that plot isn't as important as storytelling, while another said that knowing what will happen in a story makes it easier to read.
The press release noted, "The overall findings are consistent with the experience most of us have had: A favorite tale can be re-read multiple times with undiminished pleasure. A beloved movie can be watched again and again."
Of course, some of us will still prefer to remain spoiler-free. But in the light of this news, we won't take it as badly when a clueless friend spills all.
Also in light of this news, we feel it's okay to spoil the above story in the block quote, the one where the condemned man fails to escape the noose: It was Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," and a short film of the story was aired as the very last episode of The Twilight Zone.