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2008/184/1 Polygraph machine, Grass 7D, metal / plastic / electronic components / paper, made by Grass Instrument Company, Quincy, Massachusetts, United States of America, 1984, used by Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1984-1999. Click to enlarge.

Grass 7D Polygraph machine

Made
The Grass 7D Polygraph machine was used by Macquarie University researchers in the 1980s and 90s for research into a learning process called Associative Learning, in which discrete ideas and precepts become linked to one another and associations are formed between stimuli and reactions. It was never used as a lie detector but was used to record skin conductance response (SCR), evoked cardiac response, reaction times (RT), respiratory response, and orienting response.

Polygraph machines have become part of popular culture, particularly through North American television shows and movies about crime and the legal system. The lie detector machine, as it is commonly referred to in popular culture, is not commonly used in the Australian legal system. There is yet to be a ruling from the High Court of Australia on the admissibility of evidence from polygraphs, and it is unlikely that their use will be held admissible in Australian criminal courts. Nevertheless, there are private companies in Australia providing polygraph services for use in lie detection. Australian tabloid style current affairs television shows often engage the services of such companies, thus fortifying the polygraph's place in popular culture.

This polygraph machine was used for research at the Macquarie University's psychology department, and many published articles resulted from the machine's use. The machine is redundant, though it is still operable.

Damian McDonald
July 2008

Summary

Object No.

2008/184/1

Object Statement

Polygraph machine, Grass 7D, metal / plastic / electronic components / paper, made by Grass Instrument Company, Quincy, Massachusetts, United States of America, 1984, used by Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1984-1999

Physical Description

Polygraph machine, Grass 7D, metal / plastic / electronic components / paper, made by Grass Instrument Company, Quincy, Massachusetts, United States of America, 1984, used by Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1984-1999

The unit is mounted on a trolley. The lower part of the trolley has a recess for storing the continuous-feed paper used for recording data. The middle section of the unit houses the printing apparatus. Above this is the control interface, consisting of six panels of control dials and switches. The second control panel features the inputs for the skin conductance meter and electrodes which are used to measure responses.

Dimensions

Height

1700 mm

Width

680 mm

Depth

800 mm

Production

Notes

The polygraph machine was made by Grass Instrument Company, Quincy, Massachusetts, USA, 1984. It is a 7D model.

History

Used

  • 1984-1999

Notes

The polygraph was used at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, in the 1980s and 90s by psychology researchers D.A.T. Siddle, J. Packer, M.L Booth, N.W. Bond, P. Michie, T. Hirschhorn, M. Schaafsma and others. They published their findings in psychology, medical and university journals.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Macquarie University Department of Psychology, 2008

Acquisition Date

7 September 2008

Cite this Object

Harvard

Grass 7D Polygraph machine 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 30 September 2020, <https://ma.as/386233>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/386233 |title=Grass 7D Polygraph machine |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=30 September 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}