Paul Presson, Ph.D

Associate Professor

Phone: 801.832.2424


Office Location: Foster Hall 304

Office Hours: MW 10:00–11:00 a.m., TTh 12:00–1:00 p.m.


Ph.D. Univ New Hampshire Durham
M.A. Univ New Hampshire Durham
B.A. Chapman University


I was born and raised in southern California. I worked in the private sector following high school. At age 30 I decided to go to college. I attended Santa Ana community college for a year before transferring to Chapman University. After shifting my focus from clinical psychology, I graduated with a BA in social psychology. Following a short stint at the Long Beach VA hospital researching spinal cord injuries, I attended the University of New Hampshire's graduate program in social psychology and college teaching. I developed a research program at UNH that focused on human judgment and perceptions of personal control. I became very interested in how people's beliefs influence their decision-making. In particular I have become focused on the role of luck perceptions in probability judgments. For example, by manipulating environmental conditions (e.g., outcome sequence, level of involvement, or amount of practice) can perceptions of luck be altered and behavior (amount wagered) influenced in spite of constant outcome probabilities?


illusion of control luck/paranormal beliefs skepticism Educational assessment Social Media

Paul Presson