Why novel and bizarre things catch our attention


    Why novel and bizarre things catch our attention

  • 1 The brain filters repetitive data

    The human brain only focuses on what might seem important, and as a result, it filters repetitive signals. If a person sees something they've seen before, such as a tree or a car, then the signal will be filtered because it's not considered that important.

  • 2 Novel things might help a person reach their goals

    When a person sees something new, their mind believes that this new thing might help the person reach their goals and so it motivates them to check it out. 

  • 3 Novel and bizarre things spark our curiosity

    When a person sees something they haven't seen before, they feel curious to know more about it. A person usually gets bored when they understand something fully and finds it of no use.

  • 4 Novel things are not associated with anything

    Our brains always work on making associations between things. Because novel things are usually not associated with bad emotions, they spark our interest.

  • 5 To assist learning

    Our brains will want to draw our attention to the things that we have never seen before to assist our learning. If we see something we are already aware of then our brains might find no use of giving that thing some attention (See how to learn anything fast).

  • 6 We see our needs in the unexpected

    One of the reasons social networks, such as Facebook, are so addictive is that we find novel content every day. We check those social networks every day hoping to find something new that can help us fulfill our important needs (See also Why Facebook is so addictive).

  • 7 For survival purposes

    Some evolutionary psychologists suggested that the brain gets attracted to novelty because finding new things can help a person survive. 

  • 8 Dopamine is released

    Dopamine is a feel good chemical that is released when a reward is expected. Novel things make the mind expect rewards, and so leads to the release of dopamine. Dopamine can be very addictive and can result in a pleasant feeling.

  • 9 Novel things are considered more important by the brain

    Novel things are assumed to be of higher importance. The brain considers repetitive signals irrelevant, but as something totally new appears, the brain believes it might be worth checking out. Our desire to explore makes novel things interesting. 

  • 10 To escape from boredom

    Boredom is an unpleasant emotion. Humans get motivated when they find anything that can help them escape from boredom.

  • 11 Unexpected things can make us feel good

    Unexpected things can cause pleasant emotions in the brain. One of the main reasons some jokes are funny is that they have unexpected twists (See What makes a joke funny).