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Deduction & Induction

This article is a part of the guide:

❶Using Conceptual Frameworks in Qualitative Research.

Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning

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Another example is the transitive property of equality which can be stated in this form:. Deductive arguments are evaluated in terms of their validity and soundness. In other words, the conclusion must be true if the premises are true. It is possible to have a deductive argument that is logically valid but is not sound. Fallacious arguments often take that form. In other words, it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. False generalizations — such as "Everyone who eats carrots is a quarterback" — are often used to make unsound arguments.

The fact that there are some people who eat carrots but are not quarterbacks proves the flaw of the argument. In this example, the first statement uses categorical reasoning , saying that all carrot-eaters are definitely quarterbacks. This theory of deductive reasoning — also known as term logic — was developed by Aristotle , but was superseded by propositional sentential logic and predicate logic.

Deductive reasoning can be contrasted with inductive reasoning , in regards to validity and soundness. Aristotle started documenting deductive reasoning in the 4th century BC.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. Logic portal Web portal. Abductive reasoning Analogical reasoning Argument logic Correspondence theory of truth Decision making Decision theory Defeasible reasoning Fallacy Fault Tree Analysis Geometry Hypothetico-deductive method Inference Inquiry Legal syllogism Logic and rationality Logical consequence Mathematical logic Natural deduction Peirce's theory of deductive reasoning Propositional calculus Retroductive reasoning Scientific method Subjective logic Theory of justification.

The Psychology of Deduction Reprint ed. In one sense [ Links to related articles. Operant conditioning Classical conditioning Imprinting Observational learning. Deductive reasoning Inductive reasoning Abductive reasoning. Argumentation theory Axiology Critical thinking Logic in computer science Mathematical logic Metalogic Metamathematics Non-classical logic Philosophical logic Philosophy of logic Set theory.

Mathematical logic Boolean algebra Set theory. Logicians Rules of inference Paradoxes Fallacies Logic symbols. Retrieved from " https: Deductive reasoning Logic Problem solving skills Reasoning. All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from April Articles to be expanded from January All articles to be expanded Articles using small message boxes Wikipedia articles with GND identifiers Wikipedia articles with NDL identifiers.

Process tracing is a qualitative analytical tool and therefore inductive rather than deductive, since its purpose is to identify new phenomena. You might find this journal article useful:. Preparing for my Research Methods exams and I'm grateful for your explanations. This is a full lecture made simple. Thank you very much. I am very thankful for this information, madam you are just good. If you are believer, allow me to say, May God bless you with more knowledge and good health.

I am currently doing Btech in forensic with Unisa would you be so kind and help with this question below and may I use your services while Iam doing this degree Please. Deductive, which is not exploratory but designed to test a hypothesis. So this is unlike to be case study research but a quantitative study. Hi Deborah, I have been struggling with my research methods proposal, in finding the right methodology for my study. This is the only explanation out of all the books that I have read which really enables me to truly understand the meaning of Grounded Theory for which you describe as an inductive.

I just would like to say thank you for your explanation as this has helped me in a way, which I thought I would never get. In fact this has been very usefull information for me in my research,. It's very clear and easy to understand looking at the choice of language ,etc God bless you!! Is it possible to use deductive approach in research concerning what has happened in an industry?

Thank you very much this information has been extremely helpful. I can now progress with my dissertation. Thanks for that good work Deborah. It has taken me quite a short time to read and understand. Kindly please help me understand what am required to write in this case where my teacher gave me this question: Please refer to the recommended reading: Many thanks to you, I really appreciate u on ur information provided basically on theories and approaches to understanding research.

Thank you so much!! The distinction between the two approaches is clear and concise. Most other websites tend to go into long discussions without really getting to the point. This was very helpful. It is a very fruitful post. I would like to ask if the objective of my research is to develop an extended process from the existing processes. And I am going to use qualitative and quantitative research methods, because my research phenomenon requires to study the individual meanings and perceptions and then uses the findings from the qualitative study and also the theoretical study as inputs for the quantitative study.

So, which approach to follow in this case? Dear Tamer, Your question is too hypothetical for me to offer a response. But in any event, you are the only one who can decide whether an inductive or deductive approach is appropriate for your research project.

This is where methodology comes in — which is about determining what research methods will be most effective in answering your research questions and which are in sync with your approach e.

What do you think about the approach with quantitative analyses that start with data to generate theories? Typically data mining techniques fit into my example. This is a question of methodology — research methods must be selected based on the discipline, research questions and approach to the study. For example, If you are seeking to ascertain how many people read the news on their smartphones then a quantitiative method is most appropriate.

On the other hand. Which would be more appropriate qualitative or quantitative? In your own study, secondary sources would appear under a Literature Review. However, if you are doing a dissertation, say for an undergraduate degree where you are not undertaking primary research then inductive or deductive approaches are not applicable. I hope this clarifies. Your comments are really good and easy to understand.

Hope to contact you for my project. However my question is if my research is about answering specific research questions in a qualitative research. Am I to use the inductive or the deductive or the mixture of the two?

This is because inductive aims to find new theories emerging from the data whereas deductive is centred on testing a hypothesis rather than exploring research questions. Points of distinction top notch. Straight to the point. Keep up the good work. I found this site while searching the difference between the two on Google. Thank you for the input. I have developed 4 research questions, 3 are on 'what's and 1 'why'.

The what is because my sample of analysis is multimodal text. Will my study still fall under qualitative? Thank you in advance, Deborah.

I appreciate it very much. 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.

You say that your sample is multimodal text — that is simply text plus media such as videos, pictures etc. My question to you is whether this multimodal text has been generated from primary research — i. If that is the case then I would presume that this would be a qualitative research project that would lend itself to an inductive approach,since I cannot imagine that you would be able to work with a very large sample of multimodal text.

Dear Deborah I just want to ask you to help me with generation of theory. Steps that need to be followed. Thanks a lot for showing me the best way to understand the basic difference between two approaches of research.

Dear Aliyu, time does not permit me to provide responses on your individual projects. Therefore, my aim is to equip you with the understanding of different approaches so that you have both the confidence and competence to make appropriate decisions on the most suitable methodological approaches to your research. I am gathering quantitative data to develop a model to represent the behavior of a material using an existing model. I subsequently used this model to simulate the material behavior with a computer program.

Could you please kindly let me know what is my reasearch method Thanks. Dr, your explanation about inductive research and deductive, is meaningful to postgraduate students. What is your suggestion on my research topic: Today the same question appeared and I used your explanation as my response to the question. May I ask you question?

Focus on what your research objectives are and then choose the approach that will be most efefctive in meeting these objectives. Thanks Deborah for the explanation but, i want to ask if descriptive is inductive or deductive approach?

Can I ask one question? I am going to research how technology is changing the hotel industry particularly at the hotel front desk so is that inductive or deductive approach? I believe deductive approach because the aim of my research is to investigate current used technology at hotel front desk. So what do you think please let me know Thank you very much indeed. Please refer to my post on conceptual frameworks to take you through the key steps in developing a research project — you will find your answer there: Thank you so much Deborah.

I have found the book very hard to understand especially when I'm wrtiting up the methodology section as I have to talk about deductive and inductive approaches.

You have simplified it and explained it well. Also you have made it so so easy to understand. Everyone should be reading this. Thank you so so, so much. Deborah, your work is precise,well organized and relevant.

Hi Doc, thank you for making things simpler for me. I will always be incontact with your website. Hi Deborah, i just went through the abductive approach which is combination of inductive and deductive Approach. But after going through the conversation in this page helped me a lot.

Thank u very much. Title is Knowledge and Learning Model among effective repatriation. Thank u all again. Hi Deborah Thank you very much for the article. My question is what approach am i supposed to take if i am doing a research that is both qualitative and quantitative.

I am doing research on the feasibility of establishing renewable energy systems in a developing country. I am using a simulation software to generate a model to analyse the technical and economic data Quantitative but i have to use interviews to capture social and polical views from industry experts Qualitative.

So which approach is best in such a scenario? In a mixed methods study, the quanitiative dimension of the study usually functions to capture preliminary data, with the qualitative dimension being the primary method that answers the research questions. In any case, in a mixed methods study you must peform both quantitative and qualitative data analysis — separately. In reference to your specifc study you need to refer back to your reearch questions and the aims and objectives of your study.

Is your primary objective to develop a model for a renewable energy system or is it to determine whether industry experts see the viability of the model? If it is the latter then the approach should be inductive.

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.


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A deductive approach is concerned with “developing a hypothesis (or hypotheses) based on existing theory, and then designing a research strategy to test the hypothesis”[1] It has been stated that “deductive means reasoning from the particular to the general. If a causal relationship or link.

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In logic, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches. Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach.

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A deductive, or "top-down," approach to research methodology begins with hypotheses based on existing knowledge or literature. In other words, it seeks to test an established theory. Inductive, or "bottom-up," research, by comparison, collects data and observations in order to discern a pattern. 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.

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Deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning are two different approaches to conducting scientific research. With deductive reasoning, a researcher tests a theory by collecting and examining empirical evidence to see if it is true. 3 Research Methods Research Types Deductive Approach Inductive Approach In research, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches.