Gum chewing has been scientifically proven to relax people, boost alertness and focus concentration. This completely explains why all those friends of yours who have oral fixations are so laid back!
You have to wonder though-does this only pertain to chewing gum, or can it be other things too? Hard/soft candies and even food in general? Maybe this is how our body and mind distinguish comfort food from “normal” food? Either way, it is interesting.
A few years ago before a test in college level Non-Western Art History a friend of mine told me that chewing gum upped your alertness and memorization skills by up to 25%. Ever since then I always chewed gum during tests because honestly it seemed like it helped. I felt more alert and more focused. Until now, I always wondered if that was do to a “placebo” effect of my mind wanting it to be true, and therefore using it as a fictional crutch to just make myself more alert, or if chewing gum actually made me test better. Turns out it’s the latter. Hooray for science!