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Itragroup Structuring and Interpersonal Perception in Real Contact and Virtual Volunteer Groups 911
The article presents results of a study on the itragroup structuring and interpersonal perception in three types of groups that differ by the degree of virtuality: 1) really functioning groups of volunteers, 2) relatively virtual groups of volunteers and 3) maximally virtual groups of volunteers. The results indicate that the degree of virtuality of these communities determines both the nature of informal itragroup structure and peer assessment features in such groups. Another important result of the study demonstrated that in the continuum of “a real, functioning contact group — a maximally virtual group” a significant “middle” position in terms of socio-psychological content is occupied by the relatively virtual groups. Additionally, it was shown that the degree of virtuality of pro-socially oriented volunteer groups to a great extent determines the characteristics of their unity.
Keywords: virtual group, intragroup structuring, interpersonal perception, status,attraction, reference, informal power, quality of the “final output”
Column: Experimental Research