The Truth Surrounding Lie Detection Technology

To look at truths relating to lie detection seems ironic. Machines designed to detect human deception have for one reason or another kept innocent people free and led to criminal confessional and convictions. How or why has caused much debate. Yet, applications of these machines have broadened. As polygraph and voice stress analysis technologies continue to advance, they bring with them controversy and concern.

Law enforcement has ben using a machine to help detect lies since 1920, when John Larson, A Berkley (Calif.) police officer with a Ph.D. in physiology used a machine to simultaneously chart breathing and blood pressure. Modern-day polygraphs also record physiological activities as “many writings.” The American Polygraph Association (APA), founded in 1966, described today’s polygraph examination: “Convoluted rubber tubes are placed over an examinee’s chest and abdominal area to record respiratory activity.”

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