Difference between Inductive Reasoning and Deductive Reasoning

Key Difference: Inductive reasoning, also known as ‘bottom-up’ logic is the kind of reasoning that focuses on creating generalized statements from specific examples. This type of reasoning focuses on specific examples that may prove something true, which are then transferred onto generalized concepts. Deductive reasoning differs from inductive because deductive tries to use generalized concepts to try and pinpoint specific information. This is also known as ‘top-down’ approach or a waterfall approach. This is because the researcher starts with a generalized concept and then works his way down to a specific example.

 

Inductive and deductive are two different methods of reasoning that are applied during research. These two methods are a part of the logical thinking and analytical processes. These two methods of reasoning are completely different from each other and are employed depending on the needs of the researcher. Inductive reasoning focuses on creating generalized statements from selected examples, while deductive reasoning focuses on creating specific examples from generalized statements.

 

Inductive reasoning, also known as ‘bottom-up’ logic is the kind of reasoning that focuses on creating generalized statements from specific examples. This type of reasoning focuses on specific examples that may prove something true, which are then transferred onto generalized concepts. Let’s try and understand it using an example. John and Tim are on the highschool track team. Both John and Tim are tall. Therefore, all runners on the track team must be tall. This is an example of an inductive reasoning theory. This theory could be right or could be wrong. In many cases, this method of reasoning is disputed because it is not considered accurate to generalized based on two or three specific examples.

 

Inductive reasoning was popularly used by Issac Newtown to develop the theory of gravity. Using his observations of the planetary movements and the apple falling from the tree, he induced there was a force was responsible for the way certain things were. However, inductive reasoning is important to the field of science because the observation provide the researchers are theory to test on, which can further be disapproved.

 

Deductive reasoning differs from inductive because deductive tries to use generalized concepts to try and pinpoint specific information. This is also known as ‘top-down’ approach or a waterfall approach. This is because the researcher starts with a generalized concept and then works his way down to a specific example. This theory requires having to infer conclusions from a theory that is already present. Deductive reasoning links premise with conclusions, claiming that if all the premises are true, the terms are clear and the rules of deductive logic are followed, then the conclusion reached is necessarily true. An example of deductive reasoning includes: All animals are mortal. A dog is an animal; therefore a dog is also a mortal. As you can see, the generalized theory present is that all animals are mortal, it is then classified to one type of species; a dog. A dog is an animal; hence it must be a mortal.

 

Deductive reasoning allows researchers to narrow down a specific conclusion from a generalized concept, which can later be tested. However, the specific conclusion or example could be untrue or wrong, if the generalized theory is wrong. Syllogism is a type of deductive theory that is used in mathematics. This theory has that very popular statement. If A=B, and B=C, then ideally A=C. 

 

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