In essay writing, does the thesis statement play a significant role in catching the attention of the reader?
If I understand your question correctly, you are asking whether it is true that the thesis statement plays a significant role in catching a reader's attention. It may be true that the thesis statement is highly interesting and catches a reader's attention, however its job is actually to provide to the reader an idea of which direction the writer is going to take the topic. The reader's attention should actually be grabbed at the very beginning of the introduction paragraph in order to make sure that the reader is interested enough to keep reading further. The attention-grabbing sentence is usually called the "hook", and it is generally not the same sentence as the thesis statement.
Organizationally it makes most sense for the attention-grabbing hook to be at the start of the first paragraph of the essay, and for the thesis statement to be at the end of the introduction so that the writer can then transition from that statement into the body of the essay.