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# Deductive Reasoning vs. Inductive Reasoning

## What is Inductive Research?

❶This ultimately leads us to be able to test the hypotheses with specific data -- a confirmation or not of our original theories.

## Inductive reasoning

According to California State University, deductive inference conclusions are certain provided the premises are true. It's possible to come to a logical conclusion even if the generalization is not true. If the generalization is wrong, the conclusion may be logical, but it may also be untrue.

For example, the argument, "All bald men are grandfathers. Therefore, Harold is a grandfather," is valid logically but it is untrue because the original statement is false. Inductive reasoning is the opposite of deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning makes broad generalizations from specific observations.

Basically, there is data, then conclusions are drawn from the data. This is called inductive logic, according to Utah State University. We make many observations, discern a pattern, make a generalization, and infer an explanation or a theory," Wassertheil-Smoller told Live Science.

An example of inductive logic is, "The coin I pulled from the bag is a penny. That coin is a penny. A third coin from the bag is a penny. Therefore, all the coins in the bag are pennies. Even if all of the premises are true in a statement, inductive reasoning allows for the conclusion to be false. Therefore, all grandfathers are bald.

Inductive reasoning has its place in the scientific method. I would advise you to consult your supervisor or someone in your discipline, as I am not an engineer. Your explanation of concepts is succint and easily conceivable. No problem — you can use the contact form and your message will go directly to my email address. Thank you Deborah, that was a simple, clear explanation helpful for sure.

I like the way you simplified everything,was really helpful for my assignment. Inductive and deductive approaches to research. However it seems short.

Dear Almaz, thank you for your feedback. Therefore, I am taking the Western literature outcomes and applying these in UAE context to see the results. Will this research be treated as "Deductive' or "Inductive"? Should I choose 'Quantitative" or "Qualitative' approach? Wishing you all the best. So what is grounded theory? This has been troubling me for a while.

It is often said that the interpretive paradigm typically goes with inductive approaches and methods involving observation, interviews and research into archives. But then if concepts are to emerge from the data without theoretical preconceptions, how come it is often said that the research design, choice of case studies, and initial coding in thematic analysis can be theory driven?

Or, how does theory coming before the research design fit with an inductive approach? In my experience so far authors seem to evade this point. Thank You so very much Deborah.

I really got to uncover what puzzled me on deductive versus inductive approaches. It was very simple and useful. It is very useful for my dissertation. If I want to conduct a research to find those elements in a bank operation. Hi Deborah, Thank you for a great article!

It made it very clear the differenece between deductive and inductive. I'd like to ask you the following: In answer to your question, I think maybe you are confusing research questions with hypotheses. Hi Deborah Thanks for an intersting piece of work presented. Am kindly inquiring how i can get along with literature review and conceptual framemework on the topic 'IDPs and Solid Waste Management' and objectives; exploring everyday practice around solid waste management; finding out how social networks move and merge into new spaces for waste management and establish connections between waste management and social lfestyle.

Hi Deborah thank you for a great article. Dear Amna, Welcome to the world of research — we all have to start somewhere! If you're new to social research I would recommend you join the Social Research Association SRA who provide training and a wealth of resources for researchers. With regards to theory — unless you are researching new phenomena that has never been researched before or are developing a completely new approach unlikely you will not be creating 'new' theory with your research project.

You will be using existing theory in your approach and embed theoretical perspectives into your methodology. You will also likely use relevant theories when analysing your data. However, before you think about theory you need to develop your methodology — see my other post: Hi Deborah, Thank you for the precise and helpful information.. I need your help as I feel a little bit confused. I used the conceptual framework from other previous conducted study. It was conducted in quantitative manner.

If i used the conceptual framework as my guidance for my literature review and interview question construction, is that okay if i do not use inductive for the case study because i do not build a new theory. If i just compare and argue with the previous finding and the model used, is it consider as deductive approach in case study? What do you think? It may require a little bit of referencing. Furthermore, adding citation line below will be useful for academic use.

My study is ethnographic research specifically it studies about culture, tradition and lifestyle of an ethnic groups. I think my research is inductive, is it right?

Thank you, I feel same as most the above commentators. Very well written — written in a way that I who for the first time heard of these two types of researcher methods, felt like I got a gist of what they are and how they are different. Hi, It is really helpful me to get sorted these concepts in research field in simple manner.

Thanks for that and really appreciate it. That was just perfect. Now it is completely clear. Is that possible to have both in our research? I mean, what if we choose an inductive approach and then when we go forward make some assumptions to answer research questions? You cannot start with inductive and then switch to deductive — it must be one or the other.

Great work and explanation and also the researcher herself is very energetic and motivated to help others… world is because of people like you. You can look this up yourself, through your library and learning resources at your institution…. Dear Deborah, Thank you for the precise explanation of inductive and deductive approaches. When analysing data in a qualitative study, could you use both inductive and deductive methods as a triangulation technique? Hi Irene, a mixed methods study might involve both a quantitative method — e.

But the overall approach would still be inductive as the quantitative element normally shapes the qualitative and the overall aim would still be to gain in-depth understandings rather than generalise findings. Mixed methods does as you say, create academic rigour through triangulation. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Deborah Gabriel Research Guides March 17, July 5, deductive research , doctoral research , grounded theory , inductive research , qualitative research , research approcahes , research methods Comments.

Has this post helped you? If so then please leave a comment! Methods and methodology Deborah Gabriel Pingback: Thanks — Chantal Reply thank you so much for the information. Reply Deborah, thanks for this elaboration. Thanks Reply Deductive research is more aimed towards testing a hypothesis and therefore is an approach more suited to working with quantitative data.

Reply Dear Deborah, it has been very long time since you posted this article. Reply Thanks so much Reply Thank u for the information, it really helps me. Reply Exactly, your work is simple and clear, that there are two research approaches, Inductive and deductive. This is how we share knowledge,and you become more knowledgable Reply Thank you Lambawi, I am glad that these posts are proving useful.

Reply This has been helpful. Reply Thank you ever so much for making it simple and easily understandable. Best wishes Molla Reply The explanation is simple and easy to understand it has helped to a lot thank you Reply very helpful and explained simply.

Reply Excellent presentation please! Thank you Reply Thanks; this has been helpful in preparation for my forthcoming exams Reply This is fantastic, I have greatly beneffitted from this straight forward illustration Reply Thanks…i will benifited to read this Reply Thanks for your help.

Keep it like that so that will be our guide towards our destinations. Reply Thank-you for your academic insights. Reply Thank you for your clarification. Reply Hi, I had a question would you call process tracing technique an inductive or deductive approach?

You might find this journal article useful: Reply I am very thankful for this information, madam you are just good. Reply Hi Deborah, I have been struggling with my research methods proposal, in finding the right methodology for my study. Very useful piece of information. Reply Very impressing work, may god bless you with more mighty knowledge. Reply In fact this has been very usefull information for me in my research,.

Reply This is a question of methodology — research methods must be selected based on the discipline, research questions and approach to the study. Reply Your comments are really good and easy to understand. Reply Thank u so much. Reply Thanks for the inforation Deborah. Reply Hi Zilla, It is hard to provide a definitive answer without knowing what your research questions are although time does not permit me to provide individual responses.

Reply Dear Deborah I just want to ask you to help me with generation of theory. This can be interview method or observation method , or any other. In the analytical stage, the researcher attempts to search for patterns from the data. In the final stage of the inductive research, the researcher builds the theory using his data and the identified patterns. This highlights that in inductive research a bottom-up approach is being used. Grounded theory by Glaser and Strauss can be considered as a fine example of the inductive approach in research.

This is mainly because, in Grounded theory, the focus is on creating new knowledge through a cyclic process. A researcher who steps into the field has an open mind, unbiased, and without preconceived ideas. He derives the research problem mostly from the setting itself, and the data guides him towards the creation of a new theory. Inductive research question example: What causes air pollution the most?

Deductive research is quite different from inductive research as it uses a top-down approach in opposition to the inductive research.

## Main Topics

Deductive reasoning is more narrow in nature and is concerned with testing or confirming hypotheses. Even though a particular study may look like it's purely deductive (e.g., an experiment designed to test the hypothesized effects of some treatment on some outcome), most social research involves both inductive and deductive reasoning .

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The main difference between inductive and deductive approaches to research is that whilst a deductive approach is aimed and testing theory, an inductive approach is concerned with the generation of new theory emerging from the data.