Oberg (1960) was the first person to use the term "culture shock" referring to the experience of living or visiting a new culture and facing unfamiliarity. The anthropologist provides six aspects of culture shock: strain, a sense of loss and feeling of deprivation, rejection, confusion, surprise/anxiety even disgust and indignation, and feelings of impotence. Researchers view this phenomenon as a normal and anticipated reaction and as part of the process of adaptation. Bock (1970) has maintained that culture shock is an emotional reaction that stems from the inability to "understand, control, and predict another's behavior." (Furnham, 1997) Culture shock is seen as a stress reaction where significant psychological and physical rewards are uncertain and consequently, unpredictable and uncontrollable. Hence, a person may feel confused and anxious until they form an understanding of their environment and the social constructs associated with that new surrounding. .
Culture shock includes the individual's lack of a point of reference, social norms and rules to steer their actions and comprehend others" behavior. Moreover, some common symptoms of culture shock consist of anxiety, specifically a "free-floating" anxiety. Frequently, lack of self-confidence, distrust of others, and mild psychosomatic complaints also occur in this stage. These reactions, however, are not the case for every person having an abroad experience. Adler (1975) and David (1971) have argued that, although culture shock is most often linked with negative outcomes, it may, in small measures, be consequential for self-development and growth.
The extent of culture shock has been observed to be associated with the amount of difference between the visitor's culture and the culture of the country they are visiting or working in. These differences refer to the abundance of cultural diversity in social beliefs and behaviors.