I don’t know how it could be any simpler. I can only explain how this wouldn’t be straightforward to anyone by invoking an extreme case of Motivated cognition: http://www.scienceandreligiontoday.com/2011/05/04/what-is-motivated-reasoning-and-how-does-it-work/
Your reference, “1. To begin, motivated cognition refers to the unconscious tendency of individuals to fit their processing of information to conclusions that suit some end or goal.” Now I understand. Abraham being about 90 years old. Isaac, probably was a teenager. Motivation – need to kick the kid out, get a job, and stop bugging mom and dad. Catch phrase for Abraham to Issac thereafter, “remember the Ram. Might not be so lucky next time.”
It is interesting that the Rabbinic take on this incident is that Abraham was testing God. In the end, the correct answer would have been “no”.