Gray, G., Wilson, N., Cox, M., Miles, C. and Johnson, A.J., 2011. The contrasting physiological and self-rated effects of chewing gum on social stress. In: Psychobiology Section of the British Psychological Society, 5-7 September 2011, Windermere, England. (Unpublished)
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The moderating effect of chewing gum on the (acute) Trier Social Stress Task (TSST: Kirschbaum et al., 1993) was examined. In a between-participants design, 40 participants completed a mock interview and serial-seven subtraction task whilst either chewing gum or not. Physiological measures of stress (salivary cortisol) and self-rated measures of stress, mood and anxiety were taken at baseline, immediately prior to a 10-minute presentation preparation stage, after the 10-minute presentation/mental arithmetic task, and following a 10-minute recovery stage. The task was successful at increasing both physiological and self-rated measures of stress. Chewing gum significantly moderated the increase in self-rated stress (consistent with Scholey et al., 2009). Paradoxically, cortisol was significantly higher in the chewing gum group. The increase in cortisol may reflect a chewing gum induced elevation in arousal (Smith, 2010), thus facilitating cognitive performance. However, elevations in cortisol have been linked to impairments in cognition (e.g. working memory: al’Absi et al., 1994), suggesting that chewing gum may prove detrimental to concurrent cognitive tasks. The findings suggest that chewing gum only benefits subjective measures of stress when under conditions of acute social stress. The mechanism remains unclear; however, this may reflect increased cerebral blood flow, cognitive distraction, and/or effects secondary to task facilitation.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Group:||School of Design, Engineering & Computing > Psychology Research Group|
|Deposited By:||Dr. Andrew J. Johnson|
|Deposited On:||23 Apr 2012 15:34|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:55|
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