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29 Am. Inst. Crim. L. & Criminology 848 (1938-1939)
History of Lie Detection

handle is hein.journals/jclc29 and id is 856 raw text is: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF
(Director, Chicago Police Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory)
The interrogation of criminal suspects may not be easier today
than formerly, but it is at least on a more objective basis. Objec-
tivity on the part of the examiner requires, however, not alone a
scientific method and technique, but also discernment of the psy-
chology of the suspect. Each of these three factors-scientific
method, scientific technique, and psychological insight-were lack-
ing in most of the ancient and medieval attempts to determine the
truth. Indeed, in many parts of the world there are still employed
the methods of the Ordeal and of Torture. Nevertheless, we have
come a long way, and in this paper we r-cord chronologically some
of the outstanding episodes in the history of psychological interest
in the lie.
It is the unexpressed intention of the liar to mislead. And
since people generally dislike to be misled, one who lies is apt to
find his word contested and himself punished. For thousands of
years, therefore, the liar has been penalized by law. Exceptions
have been noted, however. Thus, an interesting example of group
acceptance of the lie is to be found in one of the most ancient col-
lections of books of law, manuscripts of which appeared among the
Hindus around 900 B. C.-600 B. C. In one of these books, the
Dharmasastra of Gautama, the judge is permitted to rely implicitly
upon the testimony of witnesses and to adhere to the principle that
no guilt is incurred in giving false evidence in case the life of a
man depends thereon.' Also, the Vasishtha Dharmasastra states
that Men may speak an untruth when their lives are in danger
t Forensic Psychologist, Chicago Police Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory.
'Lea, H. C., Superstition and Force (1892) 268 (First Edition, 1866).

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