I’m always on the lookout for cheap and easy ways to deal with complicated and intransigent situations. So I was thrilled to see research where teenagers did better in math class when they chewed gum.
108 middle-schoolers were randomly assigned to either chew gum or not chew gum during math class, and while they were doing their homework. After 14 weeks of “treatment,” the students who had been assigned to chew gum did better on a standardized exam. According to their teachers, they paid better attention in class, needed less breaks, and were less fidgety. And they got better grades. Granted, the research was funded by the Wrigley (chewing gum) company, but it still seemed fairly sound.