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The Somerton Man Survey .. Who is the Highest?

Sometimes a man has to walk the streets and ask the people what they think, give them an opportunity to examine and give judgment, to consider, appraise then finally make a decision.

This is our task as somethings have to be surveyed amongst the random populace, their opinions sought.

So, here we are in Ballina NSW today, survey sheet in hand with the above family pic uppermost, Charlie and Roy prominent.

Charlie was nominated on the survey sheet as A, Roy B and neither C.

In each instance I laid the survey sheet down then asked the poor luckless sod who I managed to bail up which of A or B was the tallest …. if it was neither then they could vote D.

Michelle works in Woolworths  – she voted A

Jeff runs a surfshop business – he voted A

John is an artist – he voted A

His wife Rosemary is also an artist – she voted A

Their son David is a builder – he voted A

then ….

Narelle works in Woolworths – she voted B

Tegan works in the liquor shop – she voted B

Sean is a detective out of Ballina station – he voted B

Fabiola is a hairdresser – she voted B

Sally works in a stationary shop – she voted B

Rhianna also works in the stationary shop – she voted B

Jenny is a florist – she voted B

Judith is a receptionist at the local Ramada – she voted B

then …

Shai is a hair salon owner – he voted C

Angie is my better half – she voted C

There you have it.

We have a winner.

No difference in height gets a score of 2

Charlie gets a score of 5


Five foot nine inches beats five foot eleven inches – in other words, never run a survey thinking you’ll get the result you want.


5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jo #

    I don’t think it’s a representative sample, I think you need to go up to the Lismore car boot market on Sunday… I can guarantee you’ll get some wild outlying results but it will be a broadly cross sectional sample. You can also get a good masala dosa.

    December 7, 2022
    • Jo #

      There could also be a bit of a debate over who is the highest! You or the respondent!

      December 7, 2022
  2. David Morgan #

    You should also show the other photo from the video and most will agree Charlie or the big guy in the row in front and Roy was the shortest.

    December 9, 2022
  3. David, the two arguments I heard about the difficulty in estimating any difference in the heights of Charlie and Roy were (1) Charlie is standing behind Grandad while Roy is standing beside Grandma … in other words, there is a for-shortening in effect and with Roy not standing upright he presents himself as shorter that his real height.
    If we take both these into account I believe we come back to the original premise: they are both the same height, 5’9”

    December 11, 2022

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