Chicago: Where Polygraph Becomes a Science
Oficyna Wydawnicza AFM
In the 1920’s, earlier work on polygraph instrumentation and procedure in Europe and the United States came together in Chicago where John Reid and Fred Inbau at the Scientifi c Crime Laboratory applied extensive field observations in real life criminal cases to create the Comparison Question and semi-objective scoring technique, the factors that allowed polygraph to achieve scientific status. While Chicago was not the fi rst place the instrumental detection of deception was attempted, it was the place where the contemporary, comparison question technique was fi rst developed and polygraph became a science. Th is fortuitous development was the result of the unlikely assemblage of a remarkable group of polygraph pioneers and a ready supply of criminal suspects. It is impossible to pinpoint when people fi rst began noticing the relationship between lying and observable changes in the body. Th e early Greeks founded the science of physiognomy in which they correlated facial expressions and physical gestures to impute various personality characteristics. Th e ancient Asians noted the connection between lying and saliva concluding that liars have a diffi cult time chewing and swallowing rice when being deceptive. Clearly, behavioral detection of deception pre-dates instrumental detection of deception which, it is equally clear, is European in origin. By 1858 Etienne-Jules Marey, the grandfather of cinematography recently feted in Martin Scorsese’s fi lm Hugo, and Claude Bernard, a French physiologist, described how emotions trigger involuntary physiological changes and created a “cardiograph” that recorded blood pressure and pulse changes to stimuli such as nausea and stress (Bunn, 2012). Cesare Lombroso, oft en credited as the founder of criminology, published the fi rst of fi ve editions of L’uomo delinquente in 1876 in which he postulated that criminals were degenerates or throwbacks to earlier forms of human development. Lombroso later modifi ed his theory of “born criminals” by creating three heretical classes of criminals: habitual, insane and emotional or passionate (Lombroso, 1876). By 1898, Hans Gross, the Austrian jurist credited with starting the fi eld of criminalistics, rejected the notion of “born criminals” and postulated that each crime was a scientifi c problem that should be resolved by the best of scientifi c and technical investigative aides (Gross, 2014). In 1906, Carl Jung used a galvanometer and glove blood pressure apparatus with a word association test and concluded that the responses of suspected criminals and mental perverts were the same ( Jung, 1907). In order to appreciate the important polygraph contributions that occurred in Chicago, one needs to fi rst consider what was happening at Harvard University and in Berkeley, California at the beginning of the 2oth Century.
European Polygraph 2019, nr 1, s. 7-23.