A wife rating scale from the 1930s

This month’s edition of the psychology magazine Monitor has an amusing article about a psychometric scale designed in the 1930s for rating the quality of your wife.

It was designed by Dr George W. Crane in an attempt to give couples feedback on their marriages. But although husbands or wives could fill in the scale to rate the wife’s ‘quality’, there is no mention of a similar rating scale that rated the husband’s performance.

Apparently, the full scale had 50 merits and 50 demerits of differing value which were subtracted from each other to give the final score.

The Monitor has the first 12 items which are hugely amusing, although I note that an item mentioned in the article – “reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress” – is not among them, but was apparently worth 10 ‘merits’. This is equal in value to “Religious – sends children to Sunday school and goes herself”.

Personally, I can’t believe that “Puts her cold feet on husband at night to warm them” is worth only one ‘demerit’. Surely this grievous violation of the sacred bond of marriage should have been looked on more strictly.

UPDATE: The full scale is now available online, include one for husbands!

Link to APA article (scroll down for image of rating scale).


  1. Lucas
    Posted May 13, 2008 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    I thought the most amazing one was that “can carry on an interesting conversation” was only worth one merit point. In other words, it’s approximately as important as sewing buttons onto things. Ugh.

  2. Paula Pacente
    Posted March 2, 2012 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    The problem with this survey is that it assumes EVERY couple has children. Therefore it is skewed…

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26,837 other followers