Researchers at Western Washington University pinned 100 $1 bills to a tree on a Chicago street along with inspiring notes to see how people would react.
Roughly 94 per cent of mobile phone users failed to notice at all, missing the money hanging from the tree despite walking directly under it, the journal, which was published in Frontiers read.
In contrast, their non phone-using counterparts happily unpinned the notes from the tree and continued on their path, while one woman relished in grabbing a fistful of cash.
“Cell phone talkers and texters were less likely to show awareness of money on a tree over the pathway they were traversing,” researchers wrote in the study.
The findings offer more insights into “inattentional blindness” when phones are involved, raising further concerns about pedestrian safety while texting and walking.