Some people in this world absolutely hate the chance of spoilers coming their way so much they avoid the internet until they’ve watched whatever they didn’t want to be spoiled.
But it turns out that looking for spoilers might not be the worst thing in the world, and it might in fact enhance your enjoyment of TV even more.
At least, that’s according to Nicholas Christenfeld, professor of psychology at UC San Diego.
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In the amazingly titled study Story Spoilers Don’t Spoil Stories, the Christenfeld revealed that the knowledge of what’s going to happen stories actually enhances the enjoyment of the viewer.
This is because, when you’re not privy to what’s going to go down, you get so caught up in the building tension that it detracts from the enjoyment of whatever it is you’re watching. Makes sense I guess.
Professor Christenfeld told the University of California News:
The point is, really we’re not watching these things for the ending. I point out to the sceptics, people watch these movies more than once happily, and often with increasing pleasure.
For the study, Christenfeld and his researchers had the subjects read some short stories. One group of the readers simply read the story with no spoilers or interruptions to the story – and then rated the enjoyment of the story.
The other group were given a short introductory paragraph which ‘accidentally’ spoiled the ending of the story – and this group also rated the enjoyment they gained from the story.
The study was repeated across multiple genres, including mystery, ironic twist stories and evocative literature.
Christenfeld confirmed that spoilers actually enhanced enjoyment across all three genres.
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.
Despite this research, most of the viewing population are so adverse to spoilers that massive shows like Game of Thrones have taken to shooting multiple endings for the final moments of the show.
This, it is hoped, will stop any potential leaks from making their way out into the inevitable Reddit pages just waiting to snap up any and all information.
This was confirmed by Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming, according to The Morning Call.
I know in Game of Thrones, the ending, they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really knows what happens.
You have to do that on a long show. Because when you’re shooting something, people know.
So they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that there’s no real definitive answer until the end.
This makes Game of Thrones the latest in a long line of hyped TV shows to shoot multiple endings to throw off those pesky leaks.
Other famous shows to opt for the fake-outs include Breaking Bad, Seinfeld and The Sopranos.
So despite the findings of Professor Christenfeld, it seems there really is an appetite for not wanting any spoilers to their favourite shows.
We certainly can attest to that.