The truth machine : a social history of the lie detector /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Bunn, G. C. (Geoffrey C.)
Imprint:Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.
Description:1 online resource (256 pages)
Series:Johns Hopkins studies in the history of technology
Johns Hopkins studies in the history of technology.
Subject:Lie detectors and detection -- United States -- History.
Lie detectors and detection -- History.
LAW -- Forensic Science.
Lie detectors and detection.
United States.
Electronic books.
Electronic books.
Format: E-Resource Book
URL for this record:
Hidden Bibliographic Details
Varying Form of Title:Social history of the lie detector
Digital file characteristics:data file
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Print version record.
Summary:How do you trap someone in a lie? For centuries, all manner of truth-seekers have used the lie detector. In this eye-opening book, Geoffrey C. Bunn unpacks the history of this device and explores the interesting and often surprising connection between technology and popular culture. The lie detector figures prominently in many headline-producing criminal cases, including one of the most infamous in modern memory: the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The use of the lie detector in this and other cases brings up many intriguing questions that Bunn addresses in this work: How did the lie detector become so important? Who uses it? How reliable are its results? Bunn reveals just how difficult it is to answer this last question. A lie detector expert concluded that O.J. Simpson was "one hundred percent lying" in a video recording in which he proclaimed his innocence; a tabloid newspaper subjected the same recording to a second round of evaluation, which determined Simpson to be "absolutely truthful." Lie detectors and other truth-telling machines became deeply embedded in American popular culture after the Charles Lindbergh "crime of the century" in 1935. Since then, they have factored into the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas sexual harrassment controversy and such high-profile criminal cases as the Oklahoma City and Atlanta Olympics bombings. Well-known brands Isuzu, Pepsi Cola, and Snapple have advertised their products with the help of the "truth machine," and the device has also appeared in countless movies and television shows. Bunn finds fascinating the lie detector's ability to straddle the realms of rational science and sheer fantasy. He examines how the machine emerged as a technology of truth, transporting readers back to the obscure origins of criminology itself, ultimately concluding that the lie detector owes as much to popular culture as it does to factual science.
Other form:Print version: Bunn, G.C. (Geoffrey C.). Truth machine. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012