Eating family-style

Cultural values are a good way to predict default behaviors of people in situations that I haven't experienced with them yet. (Obviously, there are many exceptions to this heuristic.)

For example, when going out to dinner, I've found that my Indian/Pakistani and Chinese friends are more likely to eat family-style at restaurants with me, regardless of what other patrons are doing, while friends from the Midwest often prefer individual servings. I prefer eating family-style, but I'll go with the flow. I like having extra variety and it makes splitting the bill easier, especially when dishes vary in price.

Other examples include whether someone has a pair of "indoor shoes" or is in the habit of taking shoes off at the front door.

This isn't meant to be a value judgement. One isn’t better than the other. They're just different.