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Story 'Spoilers' May Boost Enjoyment
Date:8/15/2011

ther possible reason why readers may prefer "spoiled" stories is that they are simply easier to understand. Knowing what happens in the end may make the story easier for the brain to process.

"So it could be that once you know how it turns out, it's cognitively easier -- you're more comfortable processing the information -- and can focus on a deeper understanding of the story," explained the study's co-author, Jonathan Leavitt, of UC San Diego's psychology department, in the news release.

From religion to entertainment, stories are a universally important part of human culture. The authors of the report concluded, however, that may not have as much to do with suspense as people believe.

"Perhaps," they wrote, "birthday presents are better when wrapped in cellophane, and engagement rings are better when not concealed in chocolate mousse."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides more information on the human brain and how it works.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of California, San Diego, news release, Aug. 15, 2011


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