Category Archives: Timing of decisions

The Art of Delay

benimagesAs you get older even those of us not labeled as procrastinators realize that some decisions never have to be made. You can wait a little bit and it becomes irrelevant or the decision becomes obvious.  Using my adaptation of the parallel constraint satisfaction model, your intuitive processing often does not come up with a clear cut answer and sends the analytic system out for more information. This is a common point for us to insert delay if we can.  Other times we make a decision and then get an opportunity to change it without any real penalty.  Frank Partnoy’s book Wait- The Art and Science of Delay examines the overall issue mostly with a series of anecdotes. The book provides some insights.

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Time Choices

timeDecisions with consequences that are experienced over time are everywhere.  They include spending, investments, diet, fertility, education, etc.  The DU model, discounted utility, assumes that people evaluate the pleasures and pains resulting from a decision  by exponentially discounting the value of outcomes according to how delayed in time they are.  This model comes from the field of economics.

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