chapter  12
24 Pages

The Logic of Suspense and Mystery

In this chapter, we explore the informational structures of suspenseful drama and mystery, and we examine the cognitive and affective reactions to the information flow in these popular genres of entertainment. We analyze both suspense and mystery in conceptual terms, specify unique characteristics, and indicate pure forms and common admixtures. Focus is on the different strategies of cognitive and affective manipulation and on the diverse combinations of cognitive and af­ fective enjoyment that results from such manipulation. Theories projecting the enjoyment of both suspense and mystery are presented. Finally, the theories are evaluated in the light of the available research evidence.