When I was in middle school, chewing gum was not allowed because the teachers and staff believed it was a distraction to our learning environment. It became an issue when students would stick their dried up, flavorless gum underneath the desks, so that privilege was taken away from the entire student body. The only time of the year gum was allowed at school was the week of the state-wide testing. I was curious as to why this “distraction” be permitted during a time when we’re supposed to have complete focus and concentration. Apparently, there was a correlation between gum and concentration that I was unaware of at the time.
A group of psychologists from Saint Lawrence University wanted to learn more behind the correlation between gum and concentration. In order to learn more, the scientists performed a randomized control trial, by giving 80 students chewing gum and another 80 students nothing. Then, the 160 students went through a series of memorization and logic tests, in order to see if there was a difference between the results of the two groups. In the end, the psychologists noticed a large gap between the two groups, in that the chewing gum group did substantially better than the non-chewing gum group. This was tested for multiple trials and the results were consistent.
When I was little, bubblegum used to be my favorite snack- yes I would eat it. This quickly ended when my sister warned me that it would take years for the gum to pass and it would mess up my body. This has been an ongoing myth for quite some time, so what is the answer? How long does it take chewing gum to pass through a human’s system? According to the BBC, if someone habitually swallows gum, it can pose a threat to one’s health by building up in their system and creating potential for a blockage. Although, it should not be a worry if it is only an infrequent occurrence.
So how may this apply to your life? Well, if you’re very nervous or have to cram for an important test or exam, chewing gum may help you pinpoint some of that anxious energy towards the work that needs to get done. It may not work for everyone since every person is different and has different habits and study techniques, but it is worth a try. There will be no harm in trying to implement this into your current study routine, as long as you don’t consume too much of it!