Thinking - Fast and Slow
Daniel Kahneman
Contributed by Larisa Brooke
Chapter 5

One’s consciousness is not necessarily the only determinant of the brain’s functionality. It is possible, as Kahneman argues, to process several computations in the mind even when someone is momentarily at rest or unconscious. This chapter elucidates the ease with which the brain functions and derive a conclusion based on events. Kahneman makes significant attempts to differentiate cognitive ease with cognitive strain, which in effect determines the processing capacity of an event or action. Also, the chapter highlights the factors that determine one’s ability to remember an occurrence. Kahneman employs previous works by several authors on the cognitive ease to explicate its essence in the mind study.


Cognitive ease is a state of mind in which an individual needs no significant efforts to process actions or events. While factors determining cognitive ease may vary, it is vital to differentiate between the variance between ease and strain-related parameters. Also, memory is congruent with illusions as is the case with vision. The chapter, therefore, brings out the essence of familiarity and the effectiveness of one’s consciousness. Kahneman recounts the principle of familiarity in asserting truths, even when they don’t exist. This concept applies in various commercial fields such as marketing. Persuasion also depends on the ease with which the mind can assimilate the information provided.

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