This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book reviews some of the uses of the terms, individualism and collectivism, from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. It provides an analysis of the attributes of individualism and collectivism and an examination of these constructs as "cultural syndromes". The book also presents the defining and culture-specific attributes of individualism and collectivism. It examines the probable antecedents of the constructs and focuses on the geographic distribution of the cultural syndromes. The book also examines a number of phenomena that are apparently occurring in different patterns in collectivist and individualist cultures. It presents some applications of the theory concerning individualism and collectivism, including how we can help the two cultures adjust to each other. The book examines the advantages and disadvantages of each cultural syndrome.