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Scott Parker

Professor Department of Psychology

Additional Positions at AU

  • Affiliated Faculty, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences
Scott Parker began teaching at American University in 1974. He is interested in the quantitative aspects of our experiences and how we make evaluations and choices based on them. Examples include how loud we think sounds are, how valuable we think $50 is, how much we like a piece of music or art. He has also studied how people compare things – the loudnesses of two sounds or the attractivenesses of two paintings. For some other interests see


PhD, Columbia University, Psychology
MA,Columbia University, Psychology
AB, Columbia College, Mathematics

CAS - Psychology
Asbury - 325
M & W 6:45 - 7:45 PM PSYC 220 only Thursday 3-5 pm
Contact Info
(202) 885-1719 (Office)

Send email to Scott Parker

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Consulting Editor, Perception & Psychophysics


  • Editorial Board, Empirical Studies of the Arts

    2006 to present

  • Executive Board of International Society for Psychophysics.



Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests


  •  Forsythe, M., Zellner, D., Cogan, E., & Parker, S. (2014). Attractiveness difference magnitude affected by context, range, and categorization. Perception, 43, 59 – 69.

  • Anderson, B. L., Gigerenzer, G., Parker, S., & Schulkin, J. (2014). Statistical literacy in obstetricians and gynecologists. Journal for Healthcare Quality, 36, 5 – 17.

  • Parker, S. (2014). Were the Victorians cleverer than us? Maybe, maybe not. Intelligence, 47, 1 - 2.

  • Parker, S., Moore, J. M., Bahraini, S., Gunthert, K., & Zellner, D. (2012).  Effects of expectations on loudness and loudness difference.  Attention Perception and Psychophysics., 74, 1334-1342.        
  • Schneider, B. A., Parker, S.,Murphy, D. (2011). A model of top-down gain control in the auditory system. Attention, Perception; Psychophysics, 73, 1562 - 1578.


Professional Presentations

  • Wyatt, J., & Parker, S. Hedonic contrast in evaluation of chess games. Eastern Psychological Association, Philadelphia, March 2015.
  • Parker, S.  Kim, V., Buono, A., Caffery, K.,  Bernal, B. C., Devery, K., Godley, T., Leibowitz, J., Majewski, K. J., McDonald, L., Messer, E., Posey, A., & Tashman, W. Context effects in estimates on objective scales: Scale distortion?  International Society for Psychophysics, Freiburg, Germany, October 2013.