There is an interesting aspect to the tragic shooting of the Brazilian electrician on the London tube. All initial reports (including direct ones from bystanders) mention an Asian man. When you look at the picture of the man shot dead, he does not look Asian (at least to me) (I think the British conception of Asian is Pakistani/Indian, in contrast to the American conception of the word Asian which is more Chinese/Thai/Taiwanese…).
This nonrecognition highlights how difficult it is to identify someone’s ethnic origins, especially in an atmosphere of stress and suspicion. Another explanation – the expectancy was that someone acting suspicious on the Tube is likely to be an Asian man; the logic is reversed – anyone acting suspicious starts looking like an Asian man. There are many Social cognitive phenomenon you could use to understand this mistake.
Reminded me of the PBS test of sorting people.