People who grow up in particular culture or community share certain values and assumptions. Values are defined as what is considered as right and wrong. Assumptions are defined as the consequences emerge as the result of the deeds which is considered as right or wrong. In the book entitled American Ways authored by Gary Althens highlighted nine values and assumptions shared by Americans. The nine values are individualism, competition, privacy, equality, informality, the future, change and progress, time, achievement, action, work and materialism, and directness and assertiveness.
Individualism is defined as how people view themselves as separate individuals who are responsible for their own destinies and therefore Americans are taught to be independent in order that they are ready to encounter the world with their own choices along with the consequences. Being individualists, Americans do compete to survive in the competitive community. They also respect others' privacy in which they assume that everyone has 'personal space' of which boundaries are not supposed to be crossed by other people. Other values shared by Americans are the equality and informality. They view that everyone is born equal. No one is born to be superior to anyone else. Therefore, they tend to act informally in general relationship with other people. Being competitive, Americans, therefore, value time most. They tend to see the future instead of the past. As a 'well-organized' people regarding future, time is the main resource to construct their future. Time punctuality and efficiency are the keys for Americans' concepts of future, change, and progress. As the summit of American values are the concept of achievement, action, work, and materialism. Americans always think of doing something because they have to achieve something. They also judge people by their works because having good works means having good money and having good money means they can afford everything.