The Psychology of Online Groups and Communities

August 20, 2021 at 12:45 PM

Virtual Grand Rounds with Anita L. Blanchard, PhD       

12:50-1:50 p.m.   

NOTE: This is s a VIRTUAL event and  requires advance registration.      

Grand Rounds are designed for mental health professionals, offered free of charge, and provide 1.0 continuing education credit (see details below).       

Register now for an Austen Riggs Center event.

Anita Blanchard, PhD, is presenting a virtual Grand Rounds at the Austen Riggs Center.Researchers have studied online groups and communities since the 1990s. However, it was the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic that caused many organizations and their employees to widely adopt virtual communication for the typical employee. Many organizations, like hospitals and nursing centers, cannot work remotely, but still may be more widely adopting video interactions to support virtual teams.    

This presentation will address some of the well-known research about face-to-face groups, teams, and community to apply them to online groups and communities. We will discuss entitativity a person’s feelings of “groupyness” as the foundation of all successful groups; the role of belongingness, norms, conflict, and trust in successful groups; and the emerging importance of copresence and physical distance in our understanding of the members of our virtual groups, teams, and communities.  

Anita Blanchard, PhD, is an associate professor of Psychological Science and Organization Science at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She is the director of the Virtual Identity, Community, and Entitativity (V.I.C.E) lab, which studies online and face-to-face groups. Dr. Blanchard studies how communication technology affects individuals, groups, and organizations.  She is particularly interested in how online groups and communities develop as well as the outcomes of these groups and communities. Her research advances theories about entitativity (i.e. groupy-ness) and social categorization for both online and face-to-face groups.   

For questions or additional information, please contact Erikson Institute Education Coordinator and Events Assistant, Kathleen Young at: kathleen.young@austenriggs.net / 413.931.5230.    

Register now for an Austen Riggs Center event.


  • Attendees will be able to explain the importance of groups, teams, and communities at work.  

  • Attendees will be able to assess possible problems in face-to-face and online groups related to fundamental group psychology.  

  • Attendees will be able to compare and contrast experiences in face-to-face and online groups based on fundamental group psychology. 


Approved for: Physicians, Psychologists, Social Work, and Nursing      
Pending for: LMHC    

The Austen Riggs Center designates this live interactive webinar for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.        

The Austen Riggs Center is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.       

The Austen Riggs Center also designates this live interactive webinar for 1.0 continuing education credit(s) (CE) for psychology.       

The Austen Riggs Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program and its content. For additional information about this program, please call the Erikson Institute Education Coordinator, at 413.931.5230.       

The Austen Riggs Center, #1344, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider Approval Period: 02/02/2020-2/2/2023. Social workers completing this live interactive webinar will receive 1.0 continuing education credit(s).        

For a listing of jurisdictions that accept ACE, please visit www.aswb.org/ace/ace-jurisdiction-map/.       

This live interactive webinar program meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing at 244 CMR 5.00 for (1) contact hour(s).         

This live interactive webinar meets the requirements of the MaMHCA, authorization # TBD for 1.0 category 1 continuing education credit(s).       

The Austen Riggs Center follows all state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). In accordance with the ADA, the Austen Riggs Center is committed to accessibility. If you need accommodations for your course, please contact info@austenriggs.net.      

For information about our accreditation, please visit: www.austenriggs.org/accreditation-educational-activities.    

Attendees who wish to receive CE credit should note: after the conclusion of the event, you will receive an email with a link to complete the evaluation and claim your credits.