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Wait: The Art and Science of Delay
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Format: Hardcover, 304pp.
Pub. Date: June 26, 2012
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Item No: 9781610390040
Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:
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.
“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’s Thinking, Fast and Slow as a trail-blazing book exploring the hidden crannies and the treacherous pitfalls of human decision-making. I whole-heartedly recommend it."
—Roger Lowenstein, 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, co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils Are Here
“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, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind
“A fascinating addition to the study of decision-making…. While there is a high premium today for speed, the author suggests that there are serious downsides to rapid decision-making.… Partnoy’s results are groundbreaking and a potential corrective to modern pressures for rapid response, whether on the playing field, in high-speed computer trading and corporate boardrooms, or on the battlefield…. File alongside Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Ariely, [and] Jonah Lehrer.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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About the Author
Frank Partnoy is the author of F.I.A.S.C.O., Infectious Greed, and The Match King. Formerly an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and a practicing corporate lawyer, he is one of the world’s leading experts on market regulation and is a frequent commentator for the Financial Times, the New York Times, NPR, and CBS’s 60 Minutes. Partnoy is a graduate of Yale Law School and is the George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance and the founding director of the Center for Corporate and Securities Law at the University of San Diego.
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