The most important thing to understand about Americans is their devotion to individualism. They have been trained since very early in their lives to consider themselves as separate individuals who are responsible for their own situations in life and their own destinies. They have not been trained to see themselves as members of a close-knit, tightly interdependent family, religious group, tribe, nation, or other collectivity. At Cedarville University there is more of an interdependent family feeling than at most other institutions. We acknowledge that we are part of God's family and therefore are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Closely associated with the value they place on individualism is the importance Americans assign to privacy. Americans assume that people "need some time to themselves" or "some time alone" to think about things or recover their spent psychological energy. Americans have great difficulty understanding foreigners who always want to be with another person and dislike being alone.