I recently read an article claiming that readers who flip to the end of a thriller to check what will happen have more fun than those who endure the suspense to eventually learn the outcome. I found this difficult to believe. The study cited research done by the University of California at San Diego’s Psychology Department, which gave subjects short stories by Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl and John Updike.
To quote from the article, “Subjects significantly preferred the spoiled versions of ironic-twist stories, where, for example, it was revealed before reading that a condemned man’s daring escape is all a fantasy before the noose snaps tight around his neck. The same held true for mysteries. Knowing ahead of time that Poirot will discover the apparent target of attempted murder is, in fact, the perpetrator not only didn’t hurt enjoyment of the story, but actually improved it.”