Wait: The Art and Science of Delay

Frank Partnoy. PublicAffairs, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-61039-004-0
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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. Agent: Theresa Park, Park Literary Group. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-1-84668-594-1
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