My interest in statistics is less on the math side but more on the use and misuse of objectively-valid statistics for political and economic purposes. Are non-math questions that involve issues of how to define data definitions, identify the appropriate number of demographic categories to use, or identity appropriate and meaningful boundaries among them in-scope at Cross Validated? For example, such questions might include, "Is it correct to include people who left high school early to complete a university degree in the definition of 'High School Dropout' for my research on literacy attainment?" or "If a person was previously incarcerated in a totalitarian country for purely political offenses such as criticizing the government and has now been convicted of their first crime in a 'Free' country, should I classify them in my statistical model of crime risk factors as first time offenders or recidivists?"
My guess is that neither of these questions would be in scope here and would be more suited for sites on Education and Criminology, respectively, or even a graduate classroom.
What is the consensus? Are these kind of questions welcome here or is the scope more or less limited to the math aspects of statistics?
Other potential questions along these lines:
- I am trying to determine whether there is any correlation between the age at which a child completes toilet training and their likelihood to be injured by an electrical shock as an adult. If someone experiences a shock that is too weak to cause any physical damage but that causes the person to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, do I count that as an injury?
- I am developing a model to find trends between the schools that a person has attended and the likelihood that they will be convicted of a crime involving misuse of computer technology. Does using an XBox as a doorstop during a residential burglary count as misuse of computer technology?
- One of my research subjects says that he is a Mexican Chicano but adamantly denies being "Hispanic". Do I need to create a new "Non-Hispanic Chicano or Mexican" category for my model plotting ethnic background versus educational attainment or do Best Practices in demographic modeling allow me to define all Mexicans as ipso facto Hispanic?