reading_spoilers.jpgHow many times have we chastised our friends when they revealed a plot twist in a book we haven't read or told us who died in a movie before we even had the chance to watch it? It looks like spoiler alerts might eventually become a thing of the past, though, if the new research from the University of California is anything to go by. According to the study, reports, spoilers don't ruin a person's reading or viewing experience; in fact, they make it much more enjoyable.

The researchers examined and chose stories in the ironic-twist, mystery, and literary genres, then had up to 30 participants read each story in two versions: the original and one with a spoiling paragraph worked into the content. The results surprised even those who conducted the study: regardless of the story type, readers liked the spoiled versions better than the original.

"Plots are just excuses for great writing," researcher Nicholas Christenfeld tells "Nonetheless, plots are important, like a skeleton or a coat hanger. You need it to display the things that are important, but the plot itself isn't critical."

He adds that this is why a lot of books or movies can be reread or watched again without the audience feeling any less entertained than before. Moviegoers who've seen the ending of a film, for example, will watch it again to find out what the last scene means or if there are layers of meaning they have yet to discover.

So the next time a friend starts telling you about the plot of a movie you were intending to watch over the weekend, allow yourself to get "spoiled" and see if this approach works for you!

Whether or not you love getting spoiled, we're sure you're always looking for books and movies to add to your to-read and to-watch lists. Check these out:
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(Photo by Danny via Flickr Creative Commons)

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