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I know there are other questions with great answers explaining the broad scope of Engineering as a topic, and how other sites should not influence how we define our scope. I agree with all that.

However, I just voted to leave closed a question that was obviously about psychology, not engineering, and it got me thinking... Social Engineering is a branch of psychology, it has 'Engineering' in its name, and it does involve using known principles of an environment and manipulating them to achieve certain 'useful' outcomes - the environment of the human psyche, culture, etc.

Personally I think it's off-topic for this site as (in my view) it's about psychology, or engineering at a nominal or meta level only.

What do others think about this specific subject?

Also if you agree with me that it's off-topic, can you explain why? I can't nail down exactly why, but I think if someone could, it would help us to unambiguously define what is on-topic.

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No, definitely not. There is no expertise overlap. The fundamental principles are completely different.

Anyone interested in social engineering might want to visit the Cognitive Sciences Stack.

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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately the word engineering gets misused or misapplied. Social engineering doesn't require a combined knowledge of science, technology, economics, mathematics. Social engineering has more to do with psychology & human manipulation. $\endgroup$ – Fred Feb 10 '15 at 14:56

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