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Chewing gum while studying: Effects on alertness and test performance

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Applied Cognitive Psychology

Published online on


--- - |2 Summary Recent research has demonstrated chewing gum can enhance various cognitive processes associated with learning, but most studies have used cognitive functioning tasks (e.g., selective attention, working memory) as outcomes. Across two experiments, we investigated effects of chewing gum on self‐reports of alertness and test performance following study of realistic educational materials. In Experiment 1 (n = 40), adult participants who chewed gum while studying a 20‐minute physiology lesson outperformed a non‐chewing condition on subsequent terminology and comprehension tests, but did not report higher levels of post‐lesson alertness as hypothesised. In Experiment 2 (n = 39), adult participants who chewed gum while studying a 9‐minute lesson on a mental mathematics strategy outperformed a non‐chewing condition on a subsequent problem‐solving test, while also reporting higher levels of post‐lesson alertness. The results provide initial support for chewing gum while studying realistic educational materials across a range of topics and study durations. - Applied Cognitive Psychology, Volume 0, Issue ja, -Not available-.