Andrew M. Parker

Photo of Andrew Parker
Codirector, RAND Center for Decision Making under Uncertainty; Senior Behavioral & Social Scientist
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in behavioral decision theory, Carnegie Mellon University; M.S. in statistics, Carnegie Mellon University; B.A. in psychology and statistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Media Resources

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Andrew M. Parker is codirector of the Center for Decision Making under Uncertainty and a senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation. His research applies core concepts in behavioral decision research to the understanding of decisionmakers' behavior in complex, real-world situations. He has led or contributed to RAND projects on decision quality, risk perception, and group decisionmaking, involving such content domains as health behavior, aging, public health emergency preparedness, long-range planning for climate change, and psychological health. Past projects have addressed decisionmaking in low-income consumption, adolescent sexual and contraceptive behavior, retirement planning, drug and alcohol use, expectations for major life events, and public responses to risk information. Parker was principal investigator on a National Science Foundation-funded project validating an adult measure of decisionmaking competence, which has been used to predict major life outcomes. He received a B.A. in psychology and statistics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; an M.S. in statistics and an M.S. behavioral decision theory, both from Carnegie Mellon University; and a Ph.D. in behavioral decision theory, also from Carnegie Mellon.

Recent Projects

  • H1N1 risk perception
  • Diffusion of Wireless Emergency Alerts
  • Assessing consumer experiences with health care
  • Health risk perceptions and social networks
  • Psychological influences on retirement trajectories

Selected Publications

Schlesinger, M., Grob, R., Shaller, D., Martino, S.C., Parker, A.M., Finucane, M.L., Cerully, J.L., & Rybowski, L., "Taking patients' narratives about clinicians from anecdote to science," New England Journal of Medicine, 373(7):675-679, 2015

Bruine de Bruin, W., Strough, J., & Parker, A.M., "Getting older isn't all that bad: Better decisions and coping when facing 'sunk costs'," Psychology and Aging, 29:642-647, 2014

Nowak, S., & Parker, A.M., "Social Network Effects of Non-Lifesaving, Early-Stage Breast Cancer Detection on Mammography Rates," American Journal of Public Health, 104:2439-2444, 2014

Parker, A.M., Vardavas, R., Markum, C.S., Gidengil, C.A., "Herd immunity as a conscious consideration (or not) in individual influenza vaccination decisions," American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 45(1):118-121, 2013

Jacobson, D., Parker, A.M., Spetzler, C., Bruine de Bruin, W., Hollenbeck, K., Heckerman, D., & Fischhoff, B., "Improved learning in U.S. history and decision competence with decision-focused curriculum.," PLoS ONE, 7(9):e45775, 2012

Parker, A.M., Bruine de Bruin, W., Yoong, J., & Willis, R., "Inappropriate confidence and retirement planning: Four studies with a national sample.," Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 25:382-389, 2012

Bruine de Bruin, W., Parker, A. M., & Fischhoff, B., "Individual differences in Adult Decision-Making Competence," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92:938-956, 2007

Parker, A. M., & Fischhoff, B., "Decision-making competence: External validation through an individual-differences approach," Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 18:1-27, 2005


  • A mask-wearing man walks past an apartment building where a child was taken to the hospital to be tested for Ebola, New York City, October 27, 2014

    How the Public Perceives Ebola Risk in the United States

    The Ebola outbreak in Africa and the cases in the United States weighed heavily on the minds of policymakers and the public. While the Ebola threat was (and is) certainly real, many Americans greatly overestimated their chances of contracting the deadly disease.

    Mar 30, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • A child receives polio vaccination during an anti-polio campaign on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Afghanistan

    An Outbreak of Outbreaks

    Lately, stories about outbreaks seem to be spreading faster than the diseases themselves. An outbreak of measles in Ohio is just part of an 18-year high of U.S. cases. Meanwhile, polio continues to circulate in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, while spreading to other countries, like Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Syria.

    Jun 11, 2014 The Health Care Blog