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Psychology: Chewing Gum’ Negative Effects Essay


It could be observed that chewing gum is one of the most favorite and most acceptable behavior in classrooms. Some students consider the behavior as a positive one since it helps them get more ideas while stimulating concentration (Allen & Smith, 2015).

Chewing gum has been linked to both positive and negative effects. While most people justify the chewing of gum due to its positive effects, other are concerned with the negative implications that may result from the habit (Hirano & Onozuka, 2015).

This paper discusses the negative effects that chewing gum may have. The phenomenon is one of the major subjects of study and controversial topic in the print media (Allen & Smith, 2015; Hirano & Onozuka, 2015). As such, the negative effects of chewing gum is a popular topic that has attracted the interest of many people from different regions and demographics for a long time in history.

The paper is based on the thesis that chewing gum may have negative effects since it could be a source of distraction and also affect digestion and absorption.

Literature Review

The effects of chewing gum have been the subject of empirical research. However, it is worth noting that most of the experiments have linked the chewing of gum to positive effects.

Allen and Smith (2015) investigated the effect of chewing gum on cognitive performance, personal temper/mood, well-being, and associated physiology.

While gum chewing was associated with improved attention, augmented cognitive performance, improved personal mood and well-being, prior chewing was linked to increased chances of error on focused attention activities (Allen & Smith, 2015).

Hirano and Onozuka (2015) investigated the effects of chewing on concentration and they concluded that gum chewing has positive effects on attention. Moreover, gum chewing was linked to mood improving and stress relief. However, they did not clarify on the effects of prior chewing. As such, they suggested that further research was necessary (Hirano & Onozuka, 2015).

Although Dodds (2016) suggested that chewing gum has numerous positive health effects, he noted that the behavior has some negative effects. As such, consumers of gum should be concerned with issues such as laxative effects, choking, and the increased risks of temporo-mandibular dysfunction (TMD) (Dodds, 2016).

Tucha and Koerts (2012) appreciated the fact that gum chewing has numerous positive effects. However, they argue that there are negative effects that should not be ignored. Using secondary data, the authors established that the behavior has detrimental effects on recalling and memory.

Particularly, a study indicated that chewing gum affected delayed recalling. Chewing gum significantly reduced immediate recalling and recognition of earlier learned concepts among the participants. Moreover, constructive effects of gum chewing were not established on experiments investigating retrieval of learned concepts (Tucha & Koerts, 2012).

On alertness, the studies adopted by Tucha and Koerts (2012) were divided with one of the three studies revealing that chewing gum reduces the level of alertness among participants. The other two empirical exercises revealed neither positive nor negative effects of chewing gum.

On sustained attention, Tucha and Koerts (2012 established that chewing gum had detrimental effects, especially following sleep deprivation. Moreover, the negative effects were observed among healthy and children with attention problems. In addition, it was evident that children between 8 and 9 years were negatively affected in sustained attention performance by chewing gum (Tucha & Koerts, 2012).

Finally, Tucha and Koerts, (2012) concluded that chewing gum has detrimental effects on the development and performance of semantic processes among learners. In the studies used, it was evident that participants who chewed gum experienced more difficulties in comprehension of logic, symbols, and languages compared to those who did not do it. Nevertheless, no connections were established between chewing gum and verbal comprehension (Tucha & Koerts, 2012).

According to the report by Mitchell (2014), chewing gum has negative psychological effects that may result in health problems. It was argued that the process of unwrapping a gum and tossing it into the mouth has some effects that pundits consider as mind games. The process alerts the brain of a possible digestion process.

As such, the human systems are compelled to anticipate and prepare for oncoming food. As a result, pertinent juices are released to allow mastication of substances and breakdown of food. Nevertheless, the non-delivery of food may result in stomach upsets and stomach acidity.

Moreover, Mitchell (2014) argues that the habit of chewing gum worsens the clicking and discomfort of even the most minor temporomandibular joint disorder.

As a result, health complications that affect the tightness and stiffening of jaws may result from gum chewing. In addition, the report by Mitchell (2014) proposed that gum chewing might lead to migraine headaches in adolescents.

Suggested Future Studies

It is evident that chewing gum has attracted the attention of many scholars and, therefore, many studies have been carried out on the positive and the negative effects. Nevertheless, it is apparent that contradicting results have been obtained. Therefore, it is advisable that future researchers should use more objective and more scientific approaches. Moreover, it is suggested that more research is done on the long-term effects of chewing gum. In addition, it would be of great interest to understand if the effects of chewing gum could be observed on people who stopped the habit for quite some time.


The habit of chewing gum is popular and common, especially among students. Moreover, adults at work and other places chew gum for various reasons.

Experts and laypeople have raised concerns about possible negative effects of chewing gum. It is argued that gum chewing may have detrimental effects on the cognitive, psychological, and health spheres of a human being.

From the literature used in this paper, it is evident that more studies have established positive effects of gum chewing than the detrimental effects. Some of the positive effects include enhanced mental abilities, reduced stress, augmented personal mood and personal wellbeing, improved concentration, and improved task delivery.

On the other hand, it is apparent that gum chewing can adversely affect the user. Some of the negative effects of gum chewing include abnormal sustained attention, reduced alertness, abnormal semantic development, laxative effects, choking, and the increased risks of temporo-mandibular dysfunction (TMD).

As such, it is evident that studies are divided on the effects of chewing gum. While other results show the positive effects of gum chewing, others reveal the negative effects. This paper finds the hypothesis that gum chewing negatively affect concentration as partly true and partly false based on the literature materials used. It is suggested that future research uses more objective and scientific approaches when investigating the effects of gum chewing.


Allen, A. P., & Smith, A. P. (2015). Chewing gum: Cognitive performance, mood, well-being, and associated physiology. Biomed Research International, 2015(654806). Web.

Dodds, M. W. (2016). The oral health benefits of chewing gum. Journal of the Irish Dental Association, 58(5), 252-261.

Hirano, Y., & Onozuka, M. (2015). Chewing and attention: A positive effect on sustained attention. Biomed Research International, 2015(367026).

Mitchell, H. (2014). Web.

Tucha, L., & Koerts, J. (2012). Gum chewing and cognition: An overview. Neuroscience & Medicine, 2012(3), 243-250.

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1. IvyPanda. "Psychology: Chewing Gum' Negative Effects." October 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychology-chewing-gum-negative-effects/.


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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Psychology: Chewing Gum' Negative Effects'. 14 October.

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