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The Art and Science of Delay

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


What do these scenarios have in common: a professional tennis player returning a serve, a woman evaluating a first date across the table, a naval officer assessing a threat to his ship, and a comedian about to reveal a punch line?

In this counterintuitive and insightful work, author Frank Partnoy weaves together findings from hundreds of scientific studies and interviews with wide-ranging experts to craft a picture of effective decision-making that runs counter to our brutally fast-paced world. Even as technology exerts new pressures to speed up our lives, it turns out that the choices we make––unconsciously and consciously, in time frames varying from milliseconds to years––benefit profoundly from delay. As this winning and provocative book reveals, taking control of time and slowing down our responses yields better results in almost every arena of life … even when time seems to be of the essence.

The procrastinator in all of us will delight in Partnoy’s accounts of celebrity “delay specialists,” from Warren Buffett to Chris Evert to Steve Kroft, underscoring the myriad ways in which delaying our reactions to everyday choices––large and small––can improve the quality of our lives.

Publishers Weekly Review

Apr 23, 2012 – Giving a thumbs-up to procrastination, financial expert Partnoy (Infectious Greed) notes that, while we “are hard wired to react quickly,” everyday experiences can be altered and improved by delaying decisions. He backs this claim with solid research across a variety of fields, from behavioral economics and neuroscience to psychology, animal behavior, finance, and law. Pacing is a key element in everything from race-car driving to comedy: “When a master comedian is on, he or she creates a new and warped world of time. The greatest comedians are masters of delay.” Even such quotidian questions as “When is the ideal moment to apologize?” are ruled by subtleties of time. Athletes know the value of delaying, as do CEOs and military strategists. Irene LaCota, head of the It’s Just Lunch dating network, refuses to include photos in profiles to keep her clients from making snap decisions. To illustrate the “slow hunch,” a full chapter details the two 3M scientists who patiently waited and persisted for 12 years while management decided whether Post-it Notes would be a good product. Entertaining and provocative, Portnoy probes and illuminates the complexities of human decision making with surprising insights and recommendations.

Customer Reviews

Good Read

An excellent summary of current developments in Fast/Slow Decision Theories. More accessible and readable than Thinking Fast and Slow. Would have given a higher rating if it were not for Partnoy's subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) injection of his political views. While the book is very informative, it comes off preachy in the end.

View In iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Management & Leadership
  • Published: Jun 26, 2012
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings