We haven’t had a study to play with for a while and this is a good one for a Friday. A professor at NYU’s College of Dentistry seems to think that chewing gum helps people learn. He started out trying to see if CD ROM-based instruction in dental techniques could be as effective as lectures on the subject. But on the way to finding someone to pay for the research, he discovered that Wrigley’s, the big manufacturer of chewing gum, was looking for someone to do a study on learning and chewing. So, the professor combined the two into one minty fresh project.
As you might expect, he found that people did indeed learn more if they chew gum while studying. I’ve said it many times in this rant fest, when it comes to studies (polls, surveys, etc.), always look at who’s paying the bills.
Personal note: I’ll have to show this article to my wife, the music teacher. She can spot a choir student chewing gum clear across a crowded auditorium.