Andrew M. Parker

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Codirector, RAND Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty; Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist; Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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, a senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation, and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. His research applies core concepts in behavioral decision research to the understanding of decisions in complex, real-world situations. He has led or contributed to RAND projects on decision quality, risk perception, and individual differences, involving such content domains as health and financial behavior, aging, emergency preparedness and community resilience, climate change, and psychological health. Past projects have addressed low-income consumption decisions, 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 currently co-leads a National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases-funded project examining how influenza risk perceptions propogate across social networks and influence vaccination decisions. 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

  • Modeling the Coupled Dynamics of Influenza Transmission and Vaccination Behavior
  • Assessing Consumer Experiences with Health Care
  • Psychological Influences on Retirement Trajectories
  • Behavioral Consequences of Excessive Confidence
  • RAPID: Evolution of Public Risk Perception and Mental Models Regarding COVID-19

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), 2015

Hudomiet, P., Parker, A.M., & Rohwedder, S., "Cognitive ability, personality, and pathways to retirement: An exploratory study," Work, Aging, and Retirement, 4, 2018

Parker, A.M., Bruine de Bruin, W., Fischhoff, B., & Weller, J.A., "Robustness of Decision-Making Competence: Evidence from two measures and an 11-year longitudinal study," Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 31, 2018

Bruine de Bruin, W., Parker, A.M., Galesic, M., & Vardavas, R., "Reports of social circles’ and own vaccination behavior: A national longitudinal survey," Health Psychology, 39(11), 2019

Parker, A.M., Finucane, M.L., Ayer, L., Ramchand, R., Parks, V.A., & Clancy, N., "Persistent risk-related worry as a function of recalled exposure to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and prior trauma," Risk Analysis, 40(3), 2020

Bruine de Bruin, W., Parker, A.M., & Strough, J., " Age differences in reported social networks and well-being," Psychology and Aging, 35(2), 2020

Bruine de Bruin, W., Parker, A.M., & Fischhoff, B., "Decision-making competence: More than intelligence?" Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2020 (forthcoming)

Parker, A.M., Edelman, A.F., Carman, K.G., & Finucane, M.L., "On the need for prospective disaster survey panels," Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 2020 (forthcoming)


  • A TV reporter wearing a mask, photo by brightstars/Getty Images

    Don't Make the Pandemic Worse with Poor Data Analysis

    The need for immediate answers in the face of severe public health and economic distress may create a temptation to relax statistical standards. But urgency should not preclude expert analysis and honest assessments of uncertainty. Mistaken assumptions could lead to counterproductive actions.

    May 6, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • 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