Some characteristics of individualistic cultures include placing a high value on independence, favoring individual rights over communal goals and equal power sharing across the culture. Collectivism is the opposite of an individualistic culture.
Individualistic cultures tend to be diverse. Each individual is only loosely connected to the other members of society and is encouraged to develop his own viewpoints and personality. Individualistic traits, such as self-reliance and assertiveness, are valued over collectivistic traits, such as dependability and generosity. Individualistic cultures frown upon power differences between individuals and value direct communication to avoid misunderstandings. The United States, Australia, South Africa and much of Europe represent individualistic cultures.