The purpose of this experiment was to determine
if chewing gum duringa test improved math test scores.
I became interested in this idea when I was chewing
gum while doinghomework; it seemed to me that it was helping me to concentrate.
The information gained from this experiment would
help parents, students,and any kind of educators to better understand how
gum chewing affectsperformance.
My hypothesis was that chewing gum during a test
would improve testscores.
I based my hypothesis on an article by Joan Weber
in a World Book Encyclopediasaying, “Gum is known to help people concentrate.”
The constants in this study were:
*Student’s ages: 12-13
* The room temperature, noise level, lighting,
* The room and arrangement (desks far apart)
* Type of Gum
* The tests given to the subjects
The manipulated variable was whether gum was chewed
by subject duringthe math test.
The responding variable was score on math test.
To measure the responding variable I corrected
each test and countedthe number correct.
||12 to 13 yr old students
||test 1 and 2
pieces of sugar-free gum
1. Obtain subject pool with permission slips.
2. Randomly create four groups with a similar
amount of boysand girls in each group.
3. Prepare test for experiment.
4. Prepare room for experiment by separating
each desk at least 3 feetapart, place a chair with each desk, and make
sure there would be no distractions.
5. Collect students to be tested from their classrooms
and show themto test room.
6. Give instructions (based on treatment group)
to the students andanswer any questions that were asked.
Treatment Chart for Each Group
Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
Day 1 Test A with Gum Chewing Test B with Gum
Chewing Test A with NoGum Test B with No Gum
Day 2 Test B with No Gum Test A with No
Gum Test B with Gum ChewingTest A with Gum Chewing
7. If students are currently in a “Gum Chewing”
a. Hand the students an envelope with a stick
of sugar-free gum init.
b. Have the subjects take out the gum stick and
8. Make sure each subject puts their name on
9. Time the test with a stopwatch. Tell them
10. After 20 minutes, stop them. Collect all
11. If students are currently in a “Gum Chewing”
treatment, also collectthe envelope with the piece of chewed gum inside.
12. Repeat steps 5-11 with every group for the
13. On a different day repeat steps 4- 12 using
the correct treatmentfrom the chart above and with subjects taking the
14. Score all tests using answer keys.
15. Log the results.
The original purpose of this experiment was to
determine if chewinggum during a test improved math test scores.
The results of the experiment were that chewing
gum during a test didimprove test scores.
See the table and graph below.
My hypothesis was that chewing gum during a math
test would improvetest scores.
The results indicate that this hypothesis should
Because of the results of this experiment, I wonder
if sugar gum wouldimprove test scores more.
If I were to conduct this project again I would
test different typesof gum.
Humans have five basic needs: food, shelter, health,
hygiene, and learning.Learning plays an important part in our lives. Without
learning we wouldnot be able to survive everyday life. We use math as a
basic skill butit is very advanced compared to our ancestors. We as humans
have a naturalwant to learn.
“Math is the study of number forms, arrangement,
and associated relationshipsusing rigorously defined literal, numerical,
and operational symbols.”One of the most important things people must have
to understand math isclear reasoning and logic. There are three parts to
math: geometry, arithmeticand algebra. Geometry focuses on figures in space.
Arithmetic focuses onnumbers and algebra focuses on equations. We use math
today as an importantpart in every day life. Almost every job or career
requires good math skills.
Gum is a type of confection that people chew but
don’t swallow. Most peoplefind that gum chewing increase concentration
and relieve boredom. Gum comes in varieties of shapes, sizes, flavors,
Chewing gum is made of gum base, sugar, corn syrup,
softeners, and flavorings.Gum base is the insoluble part of the gum and
keeps the gum from dissolvingin your mouth. In bubble gum, its base is
more elastic and firmer so itseaser to blow bubbles. Sugar sweetens gum
while corn syrup keeps it fresh,flexible and helps sweeten it. They use
softeners such as vegetable oilproducts to help blend the ingredients and
keep it soft by retaining moisture.
Gum varies on the gum’s type and shape. Generally,
the gum base is ground,melted and purified first. All ingredients are blended
in mixing machinesand poured onto the base. Then the sheet is lightly covered
with finelypowdered sugar and sugar substances to prevent sticking and
Learning is important because our success and survival
depend on it. Mathis important because so man jobs, careers and daily activities
requireit. Chewing gum increases concentration, so it might improve
“Bazooka Bubble Gum” Topps http://www.topps.com/confectionery/conf_history.html
Copper, Allen. “Nervous System” The World Book
Silverstein, Dr. Alvin. The
Nervous System Brookfield, CT 1994 pgs. 14-17, 22, and 23.
Weber, Joan. “Chewing Gum,” The World Book
I would like to thank the following people for
helping make my projectpossible:
* My parents for helping and encouraging me while
conducting this experiment.
* My subjects for all their efforts taking the
* Several teachers for allowing the subjects
to participate in my experiment during class time.
* Mr. Newkirk and Mrs. Helms for helping me with
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