Charles Moulton (William Moulton Marston)

imageAmerican psychologist, feminist theorist, inventor and comic book writerWilliam Moulton Marston was born May 9, 1893 also known by the pen name Charles Moulton. He co-created the character Wonder Woman.Two women, his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston and Olive Byrne (who ived with the couple in a polyamorous relationship), served as exemplars for the character and greatly influenced her creation. He is credited with creating Wonder Woman but was also a Psychologist and inventor and is known for the invention of the Systolic Blood pressure test. He is also credited with the creator of the systolic blood pressure test used in an attempt to detect deception, which became one component of the modern polygraph.According to their son, Marston’s wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston was also involved in the development of the systolic blood-pressure test: “

According to Marston’s son, it was his mother Elizabeth, Marston’s wife, who suggested to him that “When she got mad or excited, her blood pressure seemed to climb”. Although Elizabeth is not listed as Marston’s collaborator in his early work, Lamb, Matte, and others refer directly and indirectly to Elizabeth’s work on her husband’s deception research. She also appears in a picture taken in his polygraph laboratory in the 1920s Some have linked this device to Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth, but a direct connection is difficult to demonstrate.From this work, Marston had been convinced that women were more honest and reliable than men, and could work faster and more accurately. During his lifetime, Marston championed the causes of women of the day. Marston was also a writer of essays in popular psychology. In 1928, he published Emotions of Normal People, which elaborated the DISC Theory. Marston viewed people behaving along two axes, with their attention being either passive or active, depending on the individual’s perception of his or her environment as either favorable or antagonistic. By placing the axes at right angles, four quadrants form with each describing a behavioral pattern:

  • Dominance produces activity in an antagonistic environment
  • Inducement produces activity in a favourable environment
  • Submission produces passivity in a favourable environment
  • Compliance produces passivity in an antagonistic environment.

Marston posited that there is a male notion of freedom that is inherently anarchic and violent, and an opposing female notion based on “Love Allure” that leads to an ideal state of submission to loving authority. Marston sadly passed away on due to the effects of Skin Cancer on May 2, 1947, but was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006

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