Mike Zhengyu Yao

headshot of Mike Yao
Professor of Digital Media; Director of the Institute of Communications Research
235 Gregory Hall
  • Ph.D. Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara 
  • B.A. Psychology & Film Studies double majors, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Professor of Digital Media, Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising
  • Director of the Institute of Communications Research 
  • Courtesy appointments:
    • Professor of Business Administration in the Gies College of Business
    • Professor of Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Course Specialties
  • Online privacy 
  • Technology mediated communication 
  • Technology and advertising 
  • Programmatic advertising
Research/Creative Endeavor

Mike Yao’s research focuses on the social and psychological impacts of interactive digital media. He conducts research and writes on a variety of topics such as online behavior, digital literacy, and computer-mediated communication. His current interest is in how users perceive and manage personal boundaries on social media. Specifically, he examines people’s attitudes, beliefs and self-protective behaviors related to online privacy from a psychosocial perspective by considering the influence of cognitive appraisal, social norm, and individual differences. A second area of Mike’s active research is the psychological impacts of digital media use. He examined the influence of various interactive media, such as video games and social media, on users’ online and offline social behavior. He is currently trying to extend this line of research to developing an integrated theory of digitally mediated human behavior.