Generating predictions while watching the movie Moonraker

Two decades ago, Rolf Zwaan — who likely at the time did not predict that he would one day be awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for an experiment involving the Eiffel Tower — published a study, with colleagues, about people generating predictions while watching the James Bond movie Moonraker. The study was and is:

Generating predictive inferences while viewing a movie,” Joseph P. Magliano, Katinka Dijkstra and Rolf A. Zwaan, Discourse Processes, vol. 22, pp. 199-224. (Thanks to Neil Martin for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, then at Northern Illinois University and Florida State University, explain:

“This study investigated conditions that enable viewers to predict future events while viewing a movie…. In Experiment 1, viewers were instructed to generate predictions while watching the James Bond movie, Moonraker (Broccoli & Gilbert, 1979).The presence of support through visual and discourse modes increased the likelihood that participants would generate a specific prediction. Furthermore, the likelihood of generating a given prediction increased with multiple sources of visual and discourse modes of support.”

Here is the trailer for Moonraker: