Individual Type

Six culture types for the individual variant

*For details, please refer to the book


The materialist type includes individuals whose decisions and behaviors are based on their material needs.

Survivalists, includes people who regularly struggle to feed themselves and are consumed by the desire ensure their own short- and long-term survival.

Hedonists, includes those who live to maximize hedonic enjoyment. This is epitomized by a common Chinese perspective that the purpose of life is to eat, drink, play and have fun.

Financial freedom seekers, includes those who seek financial freedom in life, however they define it.


Wanderers are people who tend to let life take them wherever it leads.

Copycats do not think too much and tend to do whatever other people are doing.

Fatalists believe they cannot control their fates and decide to enjoy whatever life throws at them without thinking too much about why things happen or the future.


Debtors are people who live their lives to diligently pay debts that they believe they have owed since birth. This is the key difference between this type and others, and the nature of debts can differ widely. 

Pleasers live their lives to please others by conforming to societal expectations in alignment with the concept of face.

Fulfillers live to fulfill the wishes of their parents, consistent with the tribal perspective of finishing what your parents started, or what they could not have achieved.

Enablers live to make their children’s lives better.


Climbers are people whose life goal is to excel in an area valued by society.

Bureaucrats are those who want to become government officials at the highest possible level. Adoption of this subtype is very much driven by the traditional imperial system, a desire for power and respect, and the traditional aspiration of “below one and above millions.”

Tycoons are those who want to earn as much money as possible. Adoption of this subtype is driven by a strong desire for status, both perceived and real, in society.

Gurus are those who seek to become great philosophical/life teachers or authorities on any topic (e.g., history, science). Adoption of this subtype is driven by a strong desire to gain respect from society and a personal respect for knowledge, as well as belief in superstition and supernatural power.


A shepherd is a person whose goal in life is to make society a better place; often, this goal is driven by ideology, either organized or personal.

Pragmatic socialists (e.g., Dengists)

New left-wingers (e.g., Maoists, with some modifications);

New Confucianists (i.e., followers of Confucianism with some updates)

Populists represent the common people.


Seekers are people who dedicate their lives to seeking answers to questions about the meaning of life.  

Spiritualists who seek answers through spiritual quests and introspection (not through organized religion)

Scientists seek answers by applying science and logic.