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Dr. Ronald Yaros

Careers include 14 years in broadcasting, 12 years as president of a national educational software company, and 24 years as a Ph.D. researcher and professor of audience engagement based on communication, cognitive and educational psychology, neuroscience, and human-computer interaction.


When CNN introduced its site on the “world wide web” in 1995, I was president of a company producing and distributing educational curricula and software into millions of nationwide classrooms. It was after I accessed new websites that I decided to pursue research to investigate how humans seek, select, and share digital content.


In 2005, I completed a dissertation. that combined journalism, communication, and cognitive psychology to show how traditional news can be formatted to significantly increase interest in – and comprehension of – news by readers with little prior interest or knowledge in science and technology.

When the iPhone arrived in 2007, no one predicted how mobile devices would change our lives. The continuous stream of information available anywhere meant consuming content at any time for as long as we wanted to. 


Early phone users assumed they were in control of time on their new device.  It was still early to know how the device would often dictate our time to the continuous content on apps, texts, and social media and the temptation for many to consult the device whenever possible.


Since 2008, my research and teaching have focused on how and why consumers use mobile technology for content. Although the over-used and rarely defined term “engagement” is used to describe community engagement to social media engagement.  The model defines it in cognitive and behavioral terms. Some are using clickbait,  brevity and video, but there has to be a comprehensive “brain-friendly” model for digiital content that maximizes continuous attention from users who seek, select, and share digital content. 

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