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Kort-Butler collaborates with the PBS ‘American Experience’ docuseries
Lisa Kort-Butler, professor and vice chair in the Department of Sociology, will be featured in an upcoming episode of “American Experience.”
The episode, “The Lie Detector,” is about the development and use of the polygraph. It premieres at 8 p.m. Jan. 3 on PBS affiliate, Nebraska Public Media.
Kort-Butler’s research interest’s are varied but draw from her interests in criminology and medical sociology.
The episode will explore the first decades of the 20th century, when life was being transformed by scientific innovations, researchers made a thrilling new claim: they could tell whether someone was lying by using a machine.
Popularly known as the “lie detector,” the device transformed police work, seized headlines and was extolled in movies, TV and comics as an infallible crime-fighting tool. Husbands and wives tested each other’s fidelity. Corporations routinely tested employees’ honesty and government workers were tested for loyalty and “morals.”
But the promise of the polygraph turned dark, and the lie detector too often became an apparatus of fear and intimidation.
The documentaries of this PBS history series, which has been running for over three decades, have been honored with every major broadcast award.