Essay on History of the Polygraph

Essay on History of the Polygraph

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Since the father of lies deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden man has been telling lies and other men have been trying different ways to detect the truth. Some of these ways of detecting the truth were crude but they were the pioneers to today’s polygraph test.
A heated dagger placed on the tongue determined the amount of saliva in the speaker's mouth. Supposedly, the more saliva, the greater likelihood the speaker was communicating the truth. The ancient Hindus demanded those accused of lying to chew rice and spit it onto a consecrated leaf for observation. If the rice was dry, without saliva, the person was thought to be lying (Slate & Anderson, 1996).
Around 1500 BC, Indian priests soaked a donkey's tail with carbon remains from an oil lamp and put the animal in a dark tent. Those suspected of lying were sent into the tent and told that pulling the "magic" donkey's tail would expose the liar (if a guilty man pulls his tail, the donkey will bray). When the suspects came out of the tent, the priests inspected their hands. The ones with spotless hands had not touched the donkey's tail. It was assumed that this was due to many suspects’ fear of their guilt being discovered, proving they were liars.
In ancient Sparta before being accepted to special schools Spartan young men needed to pass the selection criteria. They were ordered to stand on the edge of a cliff, and were asked if they were afraid. The answer was always a loud and clear no. However, its honesty was decided by the young men’s complexion. It was determined that the pale young men lied and they were shoved off the cliff.
In Ancient Rome bodyguard screening was handled using a comparable method. Bodyguard candidates were asked titillating questions. Those who...


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...forcement agencies. The polygraph is also used by state and local law enforcement agencies, U.S. and district attorney offices, public defenders, lawyers, parole and probation departments, public and private companies (ARGO-A, p. 4).




Works Cited


ARGO-A (2010) found that “in 1973 Lafayette Instrument Company transformed the lie detection market by creating the first polygraph (PGS) in the world that realized the wishes of all polygraph examiners. Argo-A (2010) also found that “in 2007, the Lafayette Instrument Company invented the first wireless computerized polygraph in the world called the LX5000-SW” (p. 4). Argo-A also found “in 2008, Lafayette developed the ultramodern portable lie detector (PCASS) for the Pentagon. Their currently manufactured computerized polygraph LX4000-SW is the most reliable and popular lie detector on the planet” (p. 4).

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