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Wait: The Art and Science of Delay | [Frank Partnoy]

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay

A passionate polemic in favor of pausing to think, not blink. 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 contrary to our brutally fast-paced world.
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Publisher's Summary

A passionate polemic in favor of pausing to think, not blink.

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 contrary to our brutally fast-paced world. Thought technology is exerting 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. 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.

Frank Partnoy is the George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance and is codirector of the Center on Corporate and Securities Law at the University of San Diego. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the complexities of modern finance and financial market regulation. He is also the author of several works of nonfiction.

©2012 Frank Partnoy (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Having mined the best of American research in fields as wide-ranging as finance, behavioral economics, and law, Frank Partnoy has written a beguilingly readable treatise that boils down to a single, easily digestible conclusion: in our busy modern lives, most of us react too quickly. Wait will naturally and rightly be compared to Daniel Kahneman’sThinking, Fast and Slow as a trailblazing book exploring the hidden crannies and the treacherous pitfalls of human decision-making. I wholeheartedly recommend it.”—(Roger Lowenstein, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Wall Street and When Genius Failed)

“Wait is one of those rare books that will change not just the way you think but the way you act. The book is full of ideas that are fascinating, useful—and at times mind-blowing. I was captivated.” (Bethany McLean, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Smartest Guys in the Room)

“Frank Partnoy turns conventional wisdom on its head with this counterintuitive approach to decision-making. Rather than telling us how to make decisions faster and faster, he mines and refines a rich lode of information from experts in a surprising variety of fields to demonstrate the power of delay, whether measured in milliseconds, days, or decades. Wait is a great read, chock-full of fascinating insights.” (Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (94 )
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3.9 (77 )
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4.0 (79 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 08-04-12
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 08-04-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"

    Good book overall, and a rock solid premise with which I already agreed so I am a little biased.

    The only real issue is that he doesn't treat some of his research with a critical enough eye. He repeats a good deal of research made popular in a number of other books on behavioral economics and pop psychology even though that research isn't really that solid.

    Science writer Ed Yong recently made a splash by pointing out that one of the cited bits of research in this book is not replicable. This is a basic tenet of scientific research that even an attentive high school student understands. If your experiment cannot be replicated, it's not valid. Yale psych prof John Bargh is the author of a study on priming where various test subjects were supposedly tested on one thing, when in fact they were being "primed" to think (or not think) of the elderly, and the old. Supposedly the test subjects who were exposed to the "old" words and images would subsequently walk and move slower after such priming.

    Only problem is that no one has been able to replicate the study.

    Now of course this is a review about the book "Wait" and not about Professor Bargh, but the larger point is that the author apparently did his research, not by looking at actual research but by reading other popularized books on research. Bargh's study is the most glaring, but the author makes a habit of citing a number of such questionable studies.

    Which is unfortunate because his basic premise is solid, but he has treated his subject in a rather sloppy manner. Still worth reading, but it falls short of being as excellent of a book as the subject really warranted.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TWN Pacific NW 08-06-12
    TWN Pacific NW 08-06-12 Member Since 2002

    TWN

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    "Oh Don't wait, read this now."

    This books goes against so much conventional wisdom, that you may be tempted to just throw it down. But it makes good sense. This author dispels myths that have held back many children and others. Listen to it, see or hear if it changes your POV.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 07-19-12
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 07-19-12 Member Since 2002
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    "why waiting, for the right reason, really works"

    Frank Partnoy does a great job laying out why waiting works. He gives many examples...ranging from how pro tennis players wait, to how Warren Buffet waits, to how politicians wait, to how doctors wait. Great narration too. This book was so good, I may listen to it a second time.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Gildersleeve St. Paul, MN 08-20-12
    Steve Gildersleeve St. Paul, MN 08-20-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Good Counterpoint and Worth the Money"
    Any additional comments?

    The information in this book offers some perspective on books like Gladwell's "Blink" and the Getting Things Done movement and reassures those of us not not convinced about the benefits of multitasking and instant-whatever. The narrator started to remind me of a TV preacher after a while, but it was tolerable.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos BETHESDA, Moldova, Republic of 09-17-12
    Carlos BETHESDA, Moldova, Republic of 09-17-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't wait...read it!"
    What made the experience of listening to Wait the most enjoyable?

    From the world of milliseconds to the time in years and centuries, the author makes very good arguments of why it is often better to allow the right amount of time we have before we make a decision, especially for decisions that are not in our field of expertise. I think this book balances well with Gladwell's "Blink" which makes the argument that for an experienced experts a blink maybe all it takes.
    At times repetitive but overall very interesting read. Very good narration.


    Any additional comments?

    Can be very helpful in live's decision-making

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony Irvine, CA, USA 04-23-14
    Tony Irvine, CA, USA 04-23-14 Member Since 2007
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    "I was WAITing for more substance"

    Not enough substance for me so I practiced patience and read the whole thing but this book never delivered enough for me to recommend it to others. It didn't give me anything I wanted to bring up with friends later which is something I hope for when reading a book of this type.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LAM X LUU Eden Prairie, MN, US 07-29-13
    LAM X LUU Eden Prairie, MN, US 07-29-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A good, but unfocused book"
    What did you like best about Wait? What did you like least?

    The content of the book is excellent. It also poses extremely good questions to ponder on.

    However, it sounds really unfocused, with each chapter seems to go around and around different, sometimes seemingly unrelated matters. Most disturbingly, the last few chapters seem to break away totally from the first few.


    What does Sean Runnette bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His slow reading and frequent pauses are very interesting, especially in a book entitled Wait. It also help me slow down to appreciate the book a bout slowing down.


    Did Wait inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, lots. Slowing down.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick T San Diego, CA 04-01-13
    Nick T San Diego, CA 04-01-13 Member Since 2013

    Nick

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    Story
    "Starts strong, but loses its way"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Stick to the premise of the book--waiting--more closely throughout the discussion.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most interesting was the discussion of athletes and high-volume traders.


    What does Sean Runnette bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The ability to "read" it on my way to work.


    Was Wait worth the listening time?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    The book starts off with a very interesting few chapters about the importance of waiting on the micro-scale. Thematically, the book is very tight in the first few chapters, but towards the end the author seems to get further and further away from the real premise of the book. He always tries to tie it back to the premise, waiting, but in a much less connected way. At some points in the book I just didn't know if I was listening to the same book anymore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-20-12
    Daniel Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Test Your Patience with this Book!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If it wasn't too robotic sounding, it may have been more enjoyable. It's mainly the story's fault though.


    Has Wait turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Reminded me of how I filled pages in school.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Every hour or so (and I had it on 2x speed) there would be an almost interesting point that would make you think.


    Any additional comments?

    Without a doubt the most boring book I've ever experienced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian EXETER, NH, United States 08-06-12
    Ian EXETER, NH, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "About what I expected"
    What did you like best about Wait? What did you like least?

    There are many interesting facts spread throughout the book. The subject matter is dry and information I consider pertinent is surrounded by sports analogies and asides.


    Would you recommend Wait to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this book to patient readers that are very interested in a long overview of the subject matter.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like this sort of book I recommend The Shallows, by Nicholas Carr.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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