Before getting into the topic of the Cognitive Fluency, I have to make a brief introduction on how our brain works.

In accordance to Daniel Kahneman, author (Nobel prize winner in Economy Sciences in 2002) of “Thinking Fast and Slow” our brain have 2 systems, the system 1 which is very fast and take care to take quick decisions and routine operations, while the system 2 is dedicated to reasoning, calculations, and more intense brain efforts.

Easy vs. Difficult

This distinction is fundamental (System 1 vs. System 2) because of the Cognitive Fluency measures if an external stimulus is “difficult” or “easy” to process.

The difficult stimulus requires the intervention of the System 2 and much effort to process the information, this generates cognitive tension.

When the stimulus is easy to process, our brain can rely just on the System 1, and can immediately process the information, this generates what we’re looking for, Cognitive Fluency.

Which are the causes and the effects of Cognitive Fluency?

Now let’s see in detail which are the causes that can generate Cognitive Fluency and the effects that are generated on our feelings and sensations.


1. Repetitive experience: Enter into an experience that we’ve already experienced, generate Cognitive Fluency because our brain doesn’t have to put effort to elaborate the situation.

2. Clear characters: Use very clear characters is a great way to help the brain to put minimum effort in decoding the information.

3. Good mood: If we are in good mood, is easier to enter into a cognitive fluency.

4. Priming effect: the priming effect is when one stimulus/information influences the response to another stimulus. Example: if a person reads a list of words including the word table, and is later asked to complete a word starting with tab, the probability that he or she will answer table is greater than if they are not primed.

Feelings and sensations:

as you can see in the figure above the sensations generated by the cognitive fluency are positive and put ourselves in the condition to receive an information in a positive and relaxed way.

Now let’s move on how these sensations generated by the cognitive fluency can affect the way to communicate in marketing and business.

Cognitive Fluency and Marketing & Business

What about naming?

Well if we want to generate a sense of familiarity and positivity, but especially the total absence of effort from our customers, we have to choose brand names that can be easy to be pronounced and remembered. If a name is difficult to pronounce it generates cognitive tension, which leads to mistrust and makes easy for our customer to forget about the name of our brand.

What about business writing?

When we have to write the description of a service or the functionalities of a product, is useful to use alliterations, rhymes ad adopt a simple style to our writing, because this facilitates the reading process, and as we’ve seen above this generate cognitive fluency, which can lead to building trust and familiarity in our proposals.

What about UX Designs & Digital Marketing Campaigns?

When we have to create the design of a website, the main rule is to use a clear call to actions and very simple description of the benefits of our service.

Then when we work on digital advertising campaigns, always maintain a coherence between the advertised messages and images and messages used on the landing page where our prospects will be directed.

As you can see is very easy to apply the Cognitive Fluency to every aspect of our business and marketing, even in our design process. I hope that this article has been useful to you.

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