Seymour B. Sarason's psychological sense of community is a concept that captures the emotional and cognitive experience of individuals in relation to their sense of belonging, connectedness, and identification within a particular social group or community. It goes beyond the physical proximity or mere membership and focuses on the subjective feelings of being part of a community. This includes factors such as shared values, mutual support, a sense of trust, and a feeling of being understood and accepted by others within the community.
The concept of Sarason's psychological sense of community can be applied to online communities, where individuals form connections, engage in discussions, and share common interests in virtual spaces. Online communities can provide opportunities for individuals to experience a psychological sense of community by fostering a sense of belonging and connection with others who share similar interests or goals. This can be achieved through features like shared forums, collaborative projects, and interactive discussions. However, it is important to recognize that developing a psychological sense of community in an online setting may present unique challenges due to the absence of physical proximity and nonverbal cues. Online communities need to foster a sense of trust, inclusivity, and active participation to enhance members' psychological sense of community and promote a supportive and fulfilling online experience.