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Contents:
  1. Logic, Inductive and Deductive: An Introduction to Scientific Method
  2. What is deductive reasoning?
  3. Deductive, Inductive and Abductive Reasoning - TIP Sheet - Butte College

Clearly an army doctor, then. He has just come from the tropics, for his face is dark, and that is not the natural tint of his skin, for his wrists are fair. He has undergone hardship and sickness, as his haggard face says clearly. His left arm has been injured. He holds it in a stiff and unnatural manner. Where in the tropics could an English army doctor have seen much hardship and got his arm wounded?

Clearly in Afghanistan.

What is Inductive Logic?

I then remarked that you came from Afghanistan, and you were astonished. Inductive reasoning involves drawing conclusions from facts, using logic. We draw these kinds of conclusions all the time. If someone we know to have good literary taste recommends a book, we may assume that means we will enjoy the book.

Induction can be strong or weak. If an inductive argument is strong, the truth of the premise would mean the conclusion is likely. If an inductive argument is weak, the logic connecting the premise and conclusion is incorrect. The entire legal system is designed to be based on sound reasoning, which in turn must be based on evidence. Lawyers often use inductive reasoning to draw a relationship between facts for which they have evidence and a conclusion. The initial facts are often based on generalizations and statistics, with the implication that a conclusion is most likely to be true, even if that is not certain.

For that reason, evidence can rarely be considered certain. Inductive reasoning also involves Bayesian updating. A conclusion can seem to be true at one point until further evidence emerges and a hypothesis must be adjusted. If we imagine a simplified, hypothetical criminal case, we can picture the utility of Bayesian inference combined with inductive reasoning. One of them is the primary suspect, and there is no evidence of anyone else entering the house.

Other evidence will then adjust that probability. Reality is more complex than this, of course. The conclusion is never certain, only highly probable. One key distinction between deductive and inductive reasoning is that the latter accepts that a conclusion is uncertain and may change in the future. A conclusion is either strong or weak, not right or wrong. We tend to use this type of reasoning in everyday life, drawing conclusions from experiences and then updating our beliefs. Everyday inductive reasoning is not always correct, but it is often useful.

For example, superstitious beliefs often originate from inductive reasoning. If an athlete performed well on a day when they wore their socks inside out, they may conclude that the inside-out socks brought them luck. If future successes happen when they again wear their socks inside out, the belief may strengthen.

Should that not be the case, they may update their belief and recognize that it is incorrect. Only when Thanksgiving rolls around does that assumption prove incorrect. The issue with overusing inductive reasoning is that cognitive shortcuts and biases can warp the conclusions we draw. Our world is not always as predictable as inductive reasoning suggests, and we may selectively draw upon past experiences to confirm a belief. Someone who reasons inductively that they have bad luck may recall only unlucky experiences to support that hypothesis and ignore instances of good luck.

In inductive arguments, focus on the inference. When a conclusion relies upon an inference and contains new information not found in the premises, the reasoning is inductive. For example, if premises were established that the defendant slurred his words, stumbled as he walked, and smelled of alcohol, you might reasonably infer the conclusion that the defendant was drunk.

This is inductive reasoning. In an inductive argument the conclusion is, at best, probable. The conclusion is not always true when the premises are true. The probability of the conclusion depends on the strength of the inference from the premises. Thus, when dealing with inductive reasoning, pay special attention to the inductive leap or inference, by which the conclusion follows the premises.

Logic, Inductive and Deductive: An Introduction to Scientific Method

On a daily basis we draw inferences such as how a person will probably act, what the weather will probably be like, and how a meal will probably taste, and these are typical inductive inferences. It can be studied by asking young children simple questions involving cartoon pictures, or it can be studied by giving adults a variety of complex verbal arguments and asking them to make probability judgments.

For example, much of the study of induction has been concerned with category-based induction, such as inferring that your next door neighbor sleeps on the basis that your neighbor is a human animal, even if you have never seen your neighbor sleeping. Deduction begins with a broad truth the major premise , such as the statement that all men are mortal.

This is followed by the minor premise, a more specific statement, such as that Socrates is a man. A conclusion follows: Socrates is mortal.

What is deductive reasoning?

If the major premise is true and the minor premise is true the conclusion cannot be false. Deductive reasoning is black and white; a conclusion is either true or false and cannot be partly true or partly false. We decide whether a deductive statement is true by assessing the strength of the link between the premises and the conclusion. If all men are mortal and Socrates is a man, there is no way he can not be mortal, for example. There are no situations in which the premise is not true, so the conclusion is true. In science, deduction is used to reach conclusions believed to be true.

A hypothesis is formed; then evidence is collected to support it. If observations support its truth, the hypothesis is confirmed. Science also involves inductive reasoning when broad conclusions are drawn from specific observations; data leads to conclusions. If the data shows a tangible pattern, it will support a hypothesis. For example, having seen ten white swans, we could use inductive reasoning to conclude that all swans are white. This hypothesis is easier to disprove than to prove, and the premises are not necessarily true, but they are true given the existing evidence and given that researchers cannot find a situation in which it is not true.

By combining both types of reasoning, science moves closer to the truth. In general, the more outlandish a claim is, the stronger the evidence supporting it must be. We should be wary of deductive reasoning that appears to make sense without pointing to a truth.

My pet has four paws. Other types of reasoning Deductive reasoning examples The deductive reasoning process When to use deductive reasoning There are many mental tools we can use and improve at work to make important decisions. Syllogism deductive reasoning One of the most common types of deductive reasoning is a syllogism. Here are several examples of inductive reasoning: All of the managers at my office have college degrees.

Therefore, you must have a college degree to become a manager. My boss said someone would get a raise at the end of the year. My sales were the highest on the team. I must be getting a raise.


  • The History of El Salvador (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations).
  • Two Little Savages.
  • The Difference Between Deductive and Inductive Arguments.
  • New Heavens: My Life as a Fighter Pilot and a Founder of the Israel Air Force (Potomac Books Aviation Classics series).
  • Handbook of Human Immunology, Second Edition.
  • From Center to Margins: The Importance of Self-Definition in Research.
  • Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self.

I normally leave work after 6 p. As long as I leave work after six, I will always miss traffic. My boss is lenient and does not care when I am late. I am late to the office every day. Therefore, I will never be reprimanded for being late to work. What is abductive reasoning? Deductive reasoning examples Here are several examples to help you better understand deductive reasoning: My state requires all lawyers pass the bar to practice.

If I do not pass the bar, then I will not be able to represent someone legally. My boss said the person with the highest sales would get a promotion at the end of the year. I generated the highest sales, so I am looking forward to a promotion. Based on this information, we have decided to allocate more of our marketing dollars to targeting executives in that state. One of our customers is unhappy with his experience. He does not like how long it takes for a return phone call.

Therefore, if we provide a quicker response, he will be more satisfied. I must have 40 credits to graduate this spring. Because I only have 38 credits, I will not be graduating this spring. The career counseling center at my college is offering free resume reviews to students. I am a student and I plan on having my resume reviewed, so I will not have to pay anything for this service.

The deductive reasoning process Understanding the process of deductive reasoning can help you apply logic to solve challenges in your work. The process of deductive reasoning includes the following steps: Initial assumption. Deductive reasoning begins with an assumption.

This assumption is usually a generalized statement that if something is true, then it must be true in all cases. Second premise. A second premise is made in relation to the first assumption. If the first statement is true, then the second related statement must also be true. Next, the deductive assumption is tested in a variety of scenarios. Based on the results of the test, the information is determined to be valid or invalid.

When to use deductive reasoning There are many ways you can use deductive reasoning to make decisions in your professional life. Deductive reasoning in the workplace requires the following skills: Problem-solving Many roles require you to use problem-solving skills to overcome challenges and discover reliable resolutions. You can apply the deductive reasoning process to your problem-solving efforts by first identifying an accurate assumption you can use as a foundation for your solution.

Deductive reasoning often leads to fewer errors because it reduces guesswork. Teamwork Many organizations expect employees to work together in teams to achieve results. Teams are often composed of employees with varying work styles, which can hinder collaboration and reduce productivity. Using the process of deductive reasoning, you can identify where the problem lies and draw accurate conclusions and help team members align.

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Deductive, Inductive and Abductive Reasoning - TIP Sheet - Butte College

Customer service You can apply deductive reasoning skills to the customer service experience , too. By identifying what the customer is unhappy about and then connecting it to what you know about their experience, you can adequately address their concern and increase customer satisfaction. Highlight your deductive reasoning skills when looking for a job While deductive reasoning is often used in the research and science industries, it can also be applied in nearly any position where you have to make important decisions or solve complex challenges.

Using deductive reasoning with the STAR method Using the STAR interview technique is a great opportunity to demonstrate a scenario in which you used deductive reasoning in a professional environment. The STAR technique includes the following parts: Situation Discuss the situation when you applied this logical reasoning skill. Include details about the problem and your work environment.

Task Discuss the problem that you faced the hypothesis you identified, and include the process you used to determine the premises were accurate.