Until we have instant learning, we’ll still have to study for tests. Have an important final exam coming up? You’ll do better if you chew gum! Psychologists conducted a study that showed that students who chewed gum for five minutes before taking a test did better on the test than non-gum-chewing students.
"Mastication-induced arousal" is credited for the boost, which lasted for about the first 20 minutes or so of testing. A "battery of cognitive tasks" was given to the study participants, who chewed gum either prior to or throughout testing. Their performance was then compared with subjects who did not chew gum.
Many studies have shown that ANY type of physical activity can produce a performance boost; including just moving your jaws! Chewing gum gave the subjects multiple advantages, but only when chewed for five minutes before testing, not for the duration of the test. Benefits persisted for the first 15 to 20 minutes of testing only.
LBJ said of Gerald Ford, who was President of the US from 1974 to 1977, that "He can’t chew gum and walk at the same time," and maybe he was right: Psychologist Serge Onyper thinks the possible reason that benefits didn’t continue throughout testing may be due to "a sharing of resources by cognitive and masticatory processes." In other words, you can’t chew gum and think productively at the same time.
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