Friday, 24 August 2007

A Galton-Survey

“Whenever I have occasion to classify the persons I meet into three classes, ‘good, medium, bad’, I use a needle mounted as a pricker, wherewith to prick holes, unseen, in a piece of paper, torn rudely into a cross with a long leg. I use its upper end for ‘good’, the cross-arm for ‘medium’, the lower end for ‘bad’. The prick-holes keep distinct, and are easily read off at leisure. The object, place, and date are written on the paper. I used this plan for my beauty data, classifying the girls I passed in streets or elsewhere as attractive, indifferent, or repellent. Of course this was a purely individual estimate, but it was consistent, judging from the conformity of different attempts in the same population. I found London to rank highest for beauty; Aberdeen lowest.”
Francis Galton, Memories of My Life (London: Methuen & Co., 1908), pp.315-16. (Available online at


Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

What a pr*ck!

Jeffery Hodges

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James Higham said...

Quoting Galton can land you in hot water, Deogolwulf. Have a care, sir or the feminist lobby will bay for your blood.