Three in four (74%) UK adults now experience ‘Inattentional Blindness’ and could be could be losing money as a result

Three quarters (74%) of UK adults now experience inattentional blindness, a phenomenon that prevents people from seeing things right in front of their eyes due to their mind being distracted by other factors, according to a new study from the mobile network giffgaff, and backed by leading neuroscientist Professor Hana Burianova.

The research revealed that more than one in two (52%) UK drivers have experienced inattentional blindness, with a quarter (22%) of UK motorists claiming to have arrived at a destination with no memory of how they even got there and 15% admitted to driving through a red light!

shoreditch mural

To demonstrate just how many people are missing things right in front of them, giffgaff unveiled the world’s biggest ever magic eye installation in London. Located in Shoreditch, the one-of-a-kind artwork included the hidden message ‘Seeing things more clearly?’ in a bid to get the nation to realise how they could be missing things right in front of their eyes – such as the great phone and monthly airtime deals that are passing them by, due to them not paying attention to what’s around them.

The study showed this was a common occurrence, with one in four (24%) UK adults claiming to have not noticed their bills increasing due to paying them on autopilot. While less than half the nation (40%) were aware that many mobile phone network providers had increased their prices in April, and more than one in ten (12%) haven’t checked their phone bill in the last 6 months.

Currently on giffgaff, the mobile network that’s up to good, the iPhone 15 is available for as little as £37.46 per month based on a 24-month contract with 25GB of data whereas the exact same phone and data plan is available on other networks for £58.32.[2] As a result of inattentional blindness, people continue to pay their bills without realising they could be missing out on a much more competitive deal elsewhere, like with giffgaff.

The research also revealed that one in five (19%) UK adults have walked into things such as lamp posts due to the condition, a quarter (23%) have walked directly past someone they know who has been waving or speaking to them, and almost half (40%) the nation has had to re-read entire chapters of books due to having read the text without actually ‘seeing’ it.

With a big summer ahead for football fans, many could even miss crucial moments in games as a result of inattentional blindness. One in five (19%) football fans report watching matches intently but missing goals because they were thinking of something else. While one in five (20%) haven’t noticed people speaking to them as their mind was focused on the game.

Furthermore, according to giffgaff’s research, over half (60%) of the nation weren’t even aware that many mobile phone networks had increased their prices this April. The latest data from Uswitch[3] showed that UK consumers face a collective £14.4 billion bill blow as broadband and mobile price rises kick in. giffgaff’s magic eye artwork and research highlight just how many people are missing money saving opportunities – such as potentially saving hundreds of pounds each year by switching to giffgaff.

giffgaff is one of the few mobile networks that hasn’t increased its prices mid-contract and continues to offer phones and monthly plans at great value.

Speaking about the research, Professor Hana Burianova, a neuroscientist, said, “This study illustrates that we can miss even the most obvious things unless we pay close attention. This phenomenon is particularly evident for unexpected objects, events, or people – as without our direct attention, our brain filters out the information as irrelevant. As such, we see the direct impact of inattentional blindness on many parts of everyday life, including automatically paying a bill without noticing a mid-contract rise in price or not noticing a better deal around the corner.”

Ash Schofield, CEO of giffgaff, says: “As the network committed to giving its customers great deals on phones and mobile plans, we wanted to shine a light on just how many people are missing out on money saving opportunities that are right in front of their eyes. “We’re all leading increasingly busy lives, and as our findings show, it can often result in us failing to see things that are literally right under our noses. Through this research and unveiling our magic eye installation, we hope that we can help people start to see things more clearly and save some money by switching their phone contract to giffgaff.”

Consumers looking for a better deal can find out more about the money they could save at

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