Back in the day, you might have had a teacher who would would always make you spit out your gum. Turns out they might have been making making a mistake. Research has been done that shows chewing gum improves concentration in visual memory tasks, and now recent research focusing on its effect on audio memory tasks shows a similar increase in concentration.
For some of us that could have gotten us through that weekly multiple choice quiz, or at the very least dodgeball during gym.
In a study by Cardiff University, 38 participants were split into two groups; each working on a 30 minute audio task. They listened to numbers from one to nine being read in a random manner, and were then scored on how accurately and quickly they could detect sequences of odd numbers.
Participants completed questionnaires to probe their mood prior and after the task. It turns out those who chewed gum had quicker reaction times with more accurate results than those who — especially at the end of the task.
Kate Morgan, principal author of the report commented:
“Interestingly participants who didn’t chew gum performed slightly better at the beginning of the task but were overtaken by the end. This suggests that chewing gum helps us focus on tasks that require continuous monitoring over a longer amount of time.”
Results of the recent study was published in the recent British Journal of Psychology.