Chewing gum modifies state-anxiety and alertness under conditions of social stress
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Authors: Sketchley Kaye, K., Jenks, R.A., Miles, C. and Johnson, A.J.
Journal: Nutritional Neuroscience
Objectives: The finding that chewing gum can moderate state-anxiety under conditions of acute stress¹ has proved difficult to replicate.2,4 The present study examines the extent to which chewing gum can moderate state-anxiety under conditions of acute social stress.
Method: In a between-participants design, 36 participants completed a task comprising a mock job interview (a variation on the Trier Social Stress Task3, which included a mental arithmetic component) whilst either chewing gum or without gum. Self-rated measures of mood and anxiety were taken at baseline, after a 10-minute presentation preparation stage, after the 10-minute presentation, and following a 5-minute recovery stage. Results: Post-presentation measures reflected increased state-anxiety and decrease self-rated calmness and contentedness. Chewing gum attenuated the rise in state-anxiety whilst increasing self-rated alertness. Chewing gum did not affect contentedness or calmness.
Conclusions: The findings indicate that chewing gum can act to reduce anxiety under conditions of acute social stress: a finding consistent with Scholey et al.1 Furthermore, the data add to the growing body of literature demonstrating that chewing gum can increase alertness.1,2,4,5