We adore spoilage

What do we do with a story’s end, when reading in a book? Since we know where to find a tale’s finale, how often do readers page ahead to relieve suspense (or boredom)? A new study finds we love being spoiled.

Two California instructors assigned a variety of short stories to a group of students, then surveyed them about reading habits.  Readers answered if they read a tale’s ending before it was due, then assessed their pleasure at the entire story experience.  Result?

almost every single story, regardless of genre, was more pleasurable when prefaced with a spoiler.

I wonder how this has changed over time.  But it does explain our love of repetitive, predictive stories: our interest being in the details of the story’s unfolding, not its outcome.

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