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I have the question below. I think it is more about statistics than English. Thus, it would belong here. However, one might argue that it has too little statistical substance to merit posting here, and so it would be better on English Language Learners SE.

What do you think?

From The smart move: we learn more by trusting than by not trusting | Aeon Ideas:

We find the same pattern in other domains. People who trust the media more are more knowledgeable about politics and the news. The more people trust science, the more scientifically literate they are. Even if this evidence remains correlational, it makes sense that people who trust more should get better at figuring out whom to trust. In trust as in everything else, practice makes perfect.

What does the bolded phrase mean? Does it mean that even if the evidence isn't causal, the next phrase still makes sense? And what is the "evidence" they are referring to?

Related: What topics can I ask about here? - Help Center - Cross Validated

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think discussion here would add much to what a simple reading suggests: first, there is a suggestion that trust in science is associated with scientific literacy and then there is a suggestion that trust leads to literacy. The second is fairly clearly implied to be more speculative than the first. I have not read much beyond the quotation, but in terms of how this is best handled, my advice would be that interested people here head over to the other forum to make comments. I can't see that the question would be better off on CV. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Apr 15 at 9:18
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    $\begingroup$ What is trust in science any way? If it means a tendency to respect the advice of virologists, immunologists, or epidemiologists in their fields, over say politicians or pundits, to pick a random example, then sign me up. On the other hand, science is based on personal and collective distrust in data, methods, hypotheses or theories that are often misleading, confused, or plain wrong. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Apr 15 at 9:22
  • $\begingroup$ I understand (1) ELL = ell.stackexchange.com (2) you to be implying that the question has been asked there. If so, please give the link. If not, are you asking whether the quotation could be the basis for a fair question on CV? It uses statistical language in part, but in my view it has too little statistical substance to merit posting here. Otherwise put, if there was a question about the quotation on CV, I would vote to close. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Apr 15 at 9:38
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    $\begingroup$ Second time round, and being less dumb, I understand this to be about whether "What does the embolden phrase mean? Does it mean that even if the evidence isn't causational, the next phrase still makes sense? And what the evidence in here is?" would be better asked here or on ELL. I can't see that either is a place to get good answers, but that is just one view. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Apr 15 at 10:52
  • $\begingroup$ I have a feeling that on ELL this might be closed as off-topic since you could look up correlational in a dictionary. I am not saying that is fair but it could happen. Some people on that site think technical vocabulary is off-topic as well. $\endgroup$
    – mdewey
    Apr 15 at 12:51
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    $\begingroup$ Update: This was asked at stats.stackexchange.com/questions/520346/… and has received several answers to date, one accepted. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Apr 19 at 10:36
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I think the revised question should be acceptable on the main site.

I recognize @NickCox's point that there isn't much to say in answer beyond what "a simple reading suggests". Since the OP is not a native English speaker, the issue might simply be help with a "simple reading", and thus belong best on ELL. Nonetheless, there are statistical concepts at the center of the passage that need to be understood, and explaining them seems to me to be the bulk of answering this Q. In general, my test for whether a Q is on topic is 'what does the OP need explained?', and if it's a statistical concept, then I think the Q should be considered on topic. What constitutes a "simple reading" to a person who is statistically savvy may not be what constitutes a "simple reading" to a person who is not. In addition, I think that when there is a Q that may be on topic on multiple sites, we should generally defer to the OP's preference regarding which site it is to be posted.

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