Andrew M. Parker

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Director, 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

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Andrew M. Parker is director 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 decision-making 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
  • An Agent-Based Model of the Role of Perceptions Income Tax Evasion
  • Assessing Consumer Experiences with Health Care
  • Impacts of Provider's Social Networks on their Breast Cancer Screening Decisions
  • 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), 2015

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, 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), 2013

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

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

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 (forthcoming)

Strough, J., Bruine de Bruin, W., & Parker, A.M., "Taking the biggest first: Age differences in preferences for monetary and hedonic sequences," Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences (forthcoming)

Nowak, S.A., Matthews, L., & Parker, A.M., A general agent-based model of social learning, RAND Corporation (RR-1768), 2017


  • 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