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Chewing Helps Thinking

 

Explanations > Decisions > Chewing Helps Thinking

Description | Example | Discussion | So what

 

Description

Chewing gum helps mental processing, helping you to think and solve problems in a more effective way.

Note that this effect takes time to start and only lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes, so start chewing five minutes before you need the boost in mental ability. In other words, chewing gum helps you concentrate, but not for long.

Example

A student takes gum into an exam. Seeing a difficult question, they start chewing whilst doing a quick easier item and then turns to the difficult question.

A gamer finds it difficult to get past a boss-level in the game they are playing. They try chewing gum and just manage to make it through.

Discussion

Research St Laurence University found that students performed better at cognitive tests when they were asked to chew gum. The assessed effect was that it is better than caffeine. Sugar-free gum worked just as well as sugared gum, so the glucose is not an energy factor.

The researchers attribute the results to 'mastication-induced arousal'. That is, chewing is a physical activity which creates a physical response in readying the body for more action.

It has also been found that chewing mint gum reduces sleepiness.

So what?

Plan for chewing when you need just a bit more concentration than usual.

See also

Memory methods


Onyper S.V., Carr T.L. Farrar J.S. and Floyd B.R. (2011). Cognitive advantages of chewing gum. Now you see them, now you don't. Appetite, 57, 2, 321-8

 

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