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Do Spoilers For Books Actually Improve Them?

Posted at 8:25AM Friday 21 Mar 2014

The University of California team doctored 12 short stories by a top line-up of writers, including John Updike, Roald Dahl, Anton Chekhov, Agatha Christie and Raymond Carver, to test whether spoilers actually made any difference.

They tested three types of stories: ironic-twist, mystery and literary. Each was presented in three different forms – as originally written, with a prefatory spoiler paragraph, and with that same spoiler paragraph incorporated into the story as though it were a part of it.

Their conclusion: though there were some differences in response, readers in all three categories preferred the spoiled versions to the unspoiled ones.


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