WABI, WVII interview Rosenbaum about research on TV, movie spoilers

Judith Rosenbaum, an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Maine, spoke with WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) about her research on spoilers. Even though a spoiler is defined as information about a plot of a show or movie that ruins the viewer’s sense of surprise, research led by Rosenbaum found that some people enjoy knowing what is coming and are in “control” of their emotions. Rosenbaum and her team also found whether a spoiler ruins someone’s experience depends on the personality of the viewer, WABI reported. “Spoilers are not universally bad,” Rosenbaum said. “It really depends on so many factors, including what you take away from movies. Why are you watching a movie? Why are you watching a television show? How invested are you in the characters? How much do you care? How many emotions do you have riding on the outcome of this show? That’s really much more of a determining factor in whether spoilers are going to ruin your enjoyment than anything else.” And genre makes a difference too. “If you’re a fan of comedy, knowing how something turns out can be a detriment to your enjoyment. If you’re a fan of fantasy, it doesn’t seem to matter so much,” Rosenbaum told WVII.