A new study has suggested that people believe the 'typical' member of a particular group looks like them.
If Germans are asked, they will say that the typical European looks more German, while the Portuguese people think the typical European looks more Portuguese.
The researchers experimented on two sets of participants, in Germany and Portugal. Each person sitting in front of a computer for about 20 minutes looked at pairs of computer-manipulated pictures-770 pairs in all.
Each time, the participant was supposed to pick the picture they thought looked more European.
The researchers averaged the pictures that were chosen in each group and found that while the pictures created from the Portuguese participants' opinions looked darker, the face created by the Germans had lighter hair and looked more German.
The researchers had other people rate the two pictures and found that whereas Germans had come up with a "typical European" face that looked more German, Portuguese people thought of the "typical European" as more Portuguese-looking.
The study will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.