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Old 02-27-2012, 12:10 PM
hogarth hogarth is online now
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 6,765
Originally Posted by Shalmanese View Post
So white people believe they could do a reasonable job telling apart Scandinavian, Irish, Spanish, Russian & Greek and yet when Asians claim they can do the same across a similarly large land mass, they must be making it all up?
I don't think anyone's arguing that regional variations in appearance don't exist at all. But those particular variations aren't necessarily that unique, and therefore people tend to overestimate their ability to identify people based on those variations.

For instance, if someone shows me a random group of "average" Dutch and Greek men and try to identify them, I might be able to do better than chance by guessing that any tall blond men are Dutch and that any shorter dark-haired men are Greek. But there are lots of tall blond men in the world who aren't Dutch as well. If I don't have any other contextual clues, then I'm going to do pretty poorly if I guess that every tall blond person I meet in the course of my life is Dutch (considering I don't live in Holland).

Similarly, just because my wife has a round face (say), that doesn't make her Korean or Vietnamese -- there are lots and lots of Chinese with round faces, too.