Why your brain likes to take it easy

02/2/2010 | Boston Globe (tiered subscription model), The

The human brain likes to take shortcuts, and it evaluates easy-to-process information as more truthful and favorable than complex data, psychologists say. The phenomenon, called "cognitive fluency," helps explain a number of weird phenomena -- including the reason shares of companies with easy-to-pronounce names tend to outperform those of rivals with more complex monikers. The effect is so strong that it impacts "every purchase you make, every interaction you have, every judgment you make," says one researcher.

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Boston Globe (tiered subscription model), The