I'm wondering if there is a formal neuroscience or psychology term for the following: We see something new, fresh, and different and as a result pause just a little bit longer to look it over.

Imagine a hiring manager going through a pile of resumes. They all look the same. Suddenly they come across one that has a fresh, new template and spend some more time looking it at. As a result they might just short-list this candidate.

Would this be an effect or a cognitive bias? Does it have a name?

PS: Not a psychologist or neuroscientist, just curious.


Salience comes to mind, which in Psychology can be defined as...

... anything (person, behavior, trait, etc.) that is prominent, conspicuous, or otherwise noticeable compared with its surroundings. Salience is usually produced by novelty or unexpectedness, but can also be brought about by shifting one’s attention to that feature. Salience usually depends on context. A child would not be particularly salient at his or her school, but would be at a nursing home. The act of crying would not be salient at a funeral, but would be at a job interview. A salient feature can be thought of as the “figure” that stands out against the “ground” of all other nonsalient features.

IResearch.net: Psychology Research & Reference

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