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Before being admitted to certain schools Spartan young men were required to pass the selection criteria.The young men were ordered to stand on the edge of a cliff, and were asked if they were afraid.The answer was always negative; however its integrity was determined by the men’s complexion.It was concluded that the pale young men lied and they were pushed from the cliff.The Polygraph (Lie Detector) is a scientific instrument capable of simultaneously recording changes in several physiological variables while the subject is asked a series of questions pertaining to a specific issue under investigation.
Only at the end of the 18th century were conditions conducive to developing technical means of detecting deception, subsequently named: lie detector, variograph, polygraph, emotional stress monitor, deceptograph, to name a few.
Another, more informative method of detecting deception with some psychological validity, involved a donkey.
Around 1500 BC Indian priests saturated a donkey's tail with carbon residue from an oil lamp and placed the animal in a dark tent.
Among other distinguished scientists contributing to the electrodermal response research are: the Georgian – Ivan R.
Tarchanoff (1846-1908), the French – Charles Samson Fere (1852-1907), the German – Georg Sticker (1860-1960), and the Swiss – Otto Veraguth (1870-1944). Boris Sidis conducted "A Study of Galvanic Deflections Due to Psycho-Physiological Phenomena" published in the Psychological Review for September 1908 and January 1909.
The problem of detecting lies has always concerned humans; therefore, the history of the polygraph, also know as the lie detector, has very deep roots.