Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Creator of Wonder Woman

While some of the early figures in psychology have been often sung in one way or another, William Moulton Marston (1893-1947) remains somewhat of an odd one, being a lawyer, psychologist, inventor, and comic book writer. He finished at Harvard University with a B.A., a LL.B., and a Ph.D. (1921)

He is primarily known for three things: 

1) He developed a measure of systolic blood pressure as a measure of emotionality. This was one of the components of what became the old lie detector test.

3) He wrote Emotions of Normal People, which elaborated a theory based on two axes of behavior, with peoples' responses being either active or passive, depending on a perception of the environment being favorable or antagonistic. By placing the axes of these two dimensions at right angles to each other, four quadrants form with each describing a behavior pattern:
a) Dominance resulting in activity if the environment is antagonistic
b) Inducement resulting in activity if the environment is favorable
c) Submission resulting in passivity if the environment is favorable
d) Compliance resulting in passivity if the environment is antagonistic 

3) Seeing a need for a cartoon exemplar for girls, he developed the comic Wonder Woman. He gave his rationale in The American Scholar: "Not even girls want to be girls as long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power."

So he created the character Wonder Woman, also known as Diana Prince, (an Amazon princess): a beautiful woman who was powerful, forceful, and got things done.  She had an invisible plane and the Lasso of Truth! And she kicked butt!

However, little is known about Wonder Woman's personal life. This is ripe territory for the gossip magazines!



Bilbo said...

As it happens, there are a great many jokes and cartoons that deal with Wonder Woman's personal life, most of them also involving lassos, invisible cars, and/or Batman or Superman. Interesting history about the origin of Wonder Woman!

Chuck Bear said...

Very interesting about WW's creator. He had an interesting personal life too.

TexWisGirl said...

well, he had the right idea, even if he gave her a skimpy outfit, too small a waist and all that...

John Hill said...

Thanks for the info, Angel. Good story!

Mike said...

If anyone else couldn't read the cartoon it says, 'Just a minute, young lady, there's a matter of damages to be settled here.'

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Thanks, Mike! She must have had a good time!

Big Sky Heidi said...

I was a big fan of Wonder Woman.

allenwoodhaven said...

The New Yorker had an article a month or two ago about Wonder Woman and her creator. It's a very interesting story.

Cloudia said...

Nice tribute to a forgotten hero

ALOHA from Honolulu

MarkD60 said...

I've always been a big fan of Wonder Woman!
Good post!

Linda Kay said...

How can any one person have so many incredible talents? Amazing story.