Written off more than they can chew

Good God there’s a lot of scientific research on chewing gum. And I mean a lot. Here’s just a few of the latest bulletins from the front line of chewing gum cognitive science.

Chewing gum does not induce context-dependent memory when flavor is held constant [link]

Effects of chewing gum on mood, learning, memory and performance of an intelligence test [link]

Effects of caffeine in chewing gum on mood and attention [link]

Chewing gum alleviates negative mood and reduces cortisol during acute laboratory psychological stress [link]

Chewing gum and context-dependent memory: the independent roles of chewing gum and mint flavour [link]

Chewing gum and context-dependent memory effects: a re-examination [link]

Chewing gum and cognitive performance: a case of a functional food with function but no food [link]

Role of glucose in chewing gum-related facilitation of cognitive function [link]

Chewing gum can produce context-dependent effects upon memory [link]

Chewing gum differentially affects aspects of attention in healthy subjects [link]

Chewing gum selectively improves aspects of memory in healthy volunteers [link]

Effects of three principal constituents in chewing gum on electroencephalographic activity [link]

Smell and taste of chewing gum affect frequency domain EEG source localizations [link]

And not one on whether chewing gum loses its flavour on the bedpost overnight.

Actually, those are just a sample of the cognitive science studies on chewing gum, and there are many more. If you count all scientific studies with ‘chewing gum’ in the title, you get more than 540 to date.

UPDATE: Grabbed from the comments, a great addition from historian of psychology Chris Green:

There is a long history of “scientific” (read: “industrial”) research into the effects of chewing gum. The Beech-Nut company hired Columbia U. psychologist Harry Hollingworth to do a study of the “psychodynamics” of gum-chewing in the mid-1930s. Philip Wrigley also commissioned research and used the “results” (mainly, that gum-chewing reduces tension and improves concentration) to convince to U.S. Army to include (his) gum in the rations of every American soldier who served in WWII. He also tried to convince a variety of businesses to supply gum to their workers, on the strength of the same basic argument.

2 Comments

  1. Posted July 22, 2009 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    It does.

  2. christo
    Posted July 22, 2009 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    There is a long history of “scientific” (read: “industrial”) research into the effects of chewing gum. The Beech-Nut company hired Columbia U. psychologist Harry Hollingworth to do a study of the “psychodynamics” of gum-chewing in the mid-1930s. Philip Wrigley also commissioned research and used the “results” (mainly, that gum-chewing reduces tension and improves concentration) to convince to U.S. Army to include (his) gum in the rations of every American soldier who served in WWII. He also tried to convince a variety of businesses to supply gum to their workers, on the strength of the same basic argument.


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