Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Stan Lee (ESE): Personality Type Analysis

Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber) is known as the face of Marvel Comics, where he not only created many beloved comic book heroes but also became something of a personality and household name. Lee's most obvious trait is his enormous enthusiasm for life and for his work, which is an indication of E1 and specifically ESEs. Although known for creating many of Marvel's most notable superheroes, he more naturally takes a marketing role in the process, meaning making the product appealing to the readers, and putting a distinctive "face" on it, which is a function of E as well as F. There are several examples of this. For one, he would write a column filled with his personal thoughts in the comic books, not necessarily about the comics but whatever was going through his head. This kind of unlimited "dishing" of what is going on in one's mind and in one's life is another trait of E leading types. It is also clear that Lee's personal appeal is more based on being a generally down-to-earth and likeable guy, rather than any strength of vision and insight, showing greater strength and emphasis in S than T. He also extends this philosophy to his characters: for him a superhero must have weaknesses — not in the sense of tragic flaws, but to be more like real people, and they should also have to deal with everyday problems like the rest of us. Consequently, he sees acutely the problems with the idealized "perfect" superheroes like Superman that are based more on T than S. (This is also tied to awareness of F: he notes that they literally had to invent Kryptonite to create some kind of conflict for Superman. It arguably also shows a certain preference for P over L.) Also, while Lee draws mostly from his personal experience, he has more recently attempted to branch out more by creating superheroes of different ethnicities.

The other side of Lee's role in marketing is his attitude towards creating the content: unlike many creative people, Lee was in fact eager to give up creative control of the very superheroes he created— showing a willingness to let others deal with the logical aspects of the process, and perhaps even L5 in particular.

Along with Lee's enthusiasm for life goes an openness to trying new things: for a man of 90+ years, he is extraordinarily in tune with new social trends, and especially new technologies like CGI and smartphones — "I'm always looking for a bandwagon to jump on", he jokes. This is a clear sign of someone who is comfortable with I; however, he seems to accept new things as a reaction, rather than showing particular discrimination as to which new phenomena actually have the most value—showing that while his I is Bold and Valued, it is most likely lacking in nuance, so Weak I6. (It seems that Lee did not help to originate the concept of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, it is a novel concept that shows his values are most likely in line with the company's at large.)

Another unusual trait of Lee's is his seemingly endless ability to work and do stuff in general — he's been in the business for over 50 years and shows little sign of slowing down. This kind of sheer energy is a sign of very Strong F, as in sensing extroverts,

So, overall we see someone with an overwhelming focus on and talent for E (E1) which is supported by S (S2), lots of use of I but less skill (I6), and also with a large supply of F, which is however used mostly for himself and is far less central to his worldview and speech than E and I (F8). Finally, there is also little to no sign of T (T4). Everything points to ESE.

To learn more about ESE, click here.

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.

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