• by Frank Partnoy
  • Narrated by Sean Runnette
  • 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


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.
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- Ray

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.
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- Andy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-26-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.