The lie detector, Wonder Woman and liberty: the life and work of William Moulton Marston

  title={The lie detector, Wonder Woman and liberty: the life and work of William Moulton Marston},
  author={Geoff Bunn},
  journal={History of the Human Sciences},
  pages={119 - 91}
  • G. Bunn
  • Published 1 February 1997
  • Sociology
  • History of the Human Sciences
In their inspiring discussion of science popularization and science in popular culture, Roger Cooter and Stephen Pumfrey criticized the history of science for its ignorance of ’the low drama and the high art of science’s diffusion and modes of popular production and reproduction’ (Cooter and Pumfrey, 1994: 237). ’[S]urprisingly little has been written on science generally in popular culture,’ they asserted, ’past or present.’ Although they provocatively speculated that coffee houses, comic… 

Figures from this paper

Spectacular science: the lie detector's ambivalent powers.
  • G. Bunn
  • Sociology, Medicine
    History of psychology
  • 2007
Analysis of the history of the lie detector reveals the instrument to be, on the one hand, an automatically functioning machine, the epitome of science, but on the other hand, the lie detectors is also a totemistic object that requires the skills of a charismatic magician to work at all.
Joseph Jastrow, the psychology of deception, and the racial economy of observation.
  • M. Pettit
  • Sociology, Medicine
    Journal of the history of the behavioral sciences
  • 2007
Joseph Jastrow's career illustrates the complex ways in which scientific psychology and pragmatist philosophy operated within the constraints of a moral economy deeply marked by notions of "race".
Scientific Humanities: The Scientific Origins of Wonder Woman
Science plays an important role in contemporary culture. That is, both the results and the methods of scientific inquiry, as well as its applications, are not only influenced by the culture in which
The Doubly Wired Spectator: Marston’s Theory of Emotions and Psychophysiological Research on Cinematic Pleasure in the 1920s
In the 1920s, researchers attempted to gauge the emotional impact of motion pictures by measuring spectators’ respiration and blood pressure during screenings. This paper analyzes psychophysiological
Review: Searching for Truth: The Play’s the Thing
bears directly upon both, shifting, it seems, between fueling love and fueling death. Generally speaking, psychology has little to say about this enduring, and enduringly volatile, dimension of the
Love Slaves and Wonder Women: Radical Feminism and Social Reform in the Psychology of William Moulton Marston
In contemporary histories of psychology, William Moulton Marston is remembered for helping develop the lie detector test. He is better remembered in the history of popular culture for creating the
Wonder Woman Unbound
in Wonder Woman Unbound. Tim Hanley tells us everything we’ve never asked about Wonder Woman because it simply never occurred to us: from her mythic Golden Age origins through her dismal Silver Age
‘Supposing that truth is a woman, what then?’: The lie detector, the love machine, and the logic of fantasy
One of the consequences of the public outcry over the 1929 St Valentine’s Day massacre was the establishment of a Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory at Northwestern University. The photogenic ‘Lie
Reading Aaron Diaz's Wonder Woman
This paper seeks, first, to provide a review of Wonder Woman scholarship to date and, second, to document the (a)e(s)th(e)tic underpinnings and execution of one depiction of Wonder Woman, a version
Women issues to Wonder Woman
Purpose – This article seeks to depict the pivotal role Hugo Munsterberg, the great pioneer in industrial psychology, played in the lives of his students, some of whom were feminists regardless of


The rise and fall of Hugo Münsterberg
This article addresses the turbulent life of the German-American philosopher and psychologist Hugo Miinsterberg in Germany and his role in founding the psychological laboratories at Freiburg and
How Superstition Won and Science Lost: Popularizing Science and Health in the United States
Describing astrology, telepathy, UFOs, or creation science, most JAMA readers might use terms varying from "unproven" to "fallacious" to just plain "silly." This is not the attitude of most
Engineering the Human Soul: Analyzing Psychological Expertise
In the liberal democratic capitalist societies of “the West,” psychological know-how has made itself indispensable, not only in the regulation of domains from the factory to the family but also in
Separate Spheres and Public Places: Reflections on the History of Science Popularization and Science in Popular Culture
L'A. demontre qu'il faudrait reconsiderer la negligence des etudes historiques de la science populaire et de la popularisation en fonction de l'hegemonie de la science elle-meme
The Meaning of “Inhibition” and the Discourse of Order
The history of psychology, like other human science subjects, should attend to the meaning of words understood as relationships of reference and value within discourse. It should seek to identify and
Reaction-time symptoms of deception
Professor Hugo Munsterberg began experiment upon what was planned to be a series of psycho-physiological problems in the field of legal testimony. The first psycho-legal problem to be approached was
Integrative, Psychology: a Study of Unit Response
Abstract“INTEGRATIVE PSYCHOLOGY” stands midway between the classical school of introspection and psychoanalysis. It claims to organise the subject matter of psychology and to give its adherents
Studies in Testimony
It seems to be a regrettable fact that little systematic psychological experimentation is being carried on in the field of normal adult testimony. Much valuable material is being produced by
“A Still-Life Watercolor”: Frye v. United States
A review is made of documentary material in Frye v. Unites States, the case that set the precedent for the Frye test for the admissibility of scientific evidence. The author concludes that the facts
'To know our fellow men to do them good': American Psychology's enduring moral project
A radiation collimator having a plurality of pivotally mounted collimating tubes, with adjusting mechanism for simultaneously adjusting the tubes relative to each other to various selected positions