It turns out spoilers aren't the worst thing. In fact, a new study suggests that knowing the end of a story in advance may actually enhance enjoyment.
According to Reuters, researchers at the University of California at San Diego tested three different types of stories by authors like John Updike, Roald Dahl and Agatha Christie and found that readers actually preferred the versions with a spoiler paragraph written into the plot. Both the original version and edited version of each story was read by up to 30 people.
"I was quite surprised by the results," researcher Nicholas Christenfeld said. "Like most people, I don't turn to the end of a book to see who dies or what happens." Christenfeld and his co-author Jonathan Leavitt also added that their research could mean that the perceptions people have about suspense may not be true. "Perhaps birthday presents are better when wrapped in cellophane and engagement rings are better when not concealed in chocolate mousse," the report said. (And perhaps TV is better?)
The study will be published in the journal Psychological Science.