Key Difference – Inference vs Prediction
Though the words inference and prediction are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference between them. Firstly, let’s define the words to better understand the difference. Inference can be seen as the process of working out from available information. On the other hand, Prediction is stating that an event will happen in the future. This shows that the key difference between inference and prediction stems from the fact that while prediction is merely foretelling, in inference, it is not so. Inferring means coming to conclusions with available evidence. Through this article, we will examine the differences between the two words in depth.
What is Inference?
Inference can be seen as the process of working out from available information. In this case, the individual arrives at conclusions based on the information they have. This emphasizes that the individual cannot draw conclusions without evidence or based solely on reason. Let’s understand this through an example: In a classroom, the teacher asks the student to infer how the plot develops in a particular situation. In such a situation, the students come up with various conclusions. These are not wild guesses but are based on the information available to the students. Now let’s move on to the next word.
What is Prediction?
Prediction is stating that an event will happen in the future. This is based on past events and experiences or even reasoning. The key difference between inference and prediction is that while in inferring, we work with the available information to draw conclusions; in predictions, it is not so. It is similar to foretelling as the individual may not possess any evidence. We can even understand this through an example. Let’s take a similar example from a classroom setting. A teacher asks the students to look at a comprehension passage without reading. The teacher asks the students only to read the heading and predict what the passage is about. In such a situation, the children are merely predicting or foretelling, without proper information. This is the key difference between inference and prediction. This difference can be summarized as follows.
What is the Difference Between Inference and Prediction?
Definitions of Inference and Prediction:
Inference: Inference can be understood as the process of working out from available information.
Prediction: Prediction is stating that an event will happen in the future.
Characteristics of Inference and Prediction:
Inference: Inferring is through evidence.
Prediction: When predicting, evidence may or may not be used.
Inference: In inference, conclusions are based on the information.
Prediction: In prediction, it is based on past events, experience, and reasoning.
- Inference is the process of working out from available information, while Prediction is stating that an event will happen in the future.
- Inference is based on evidence, while prediction may or may not use evidence.
- Inference conclusions are based on information, while prediction conclusions are based on past events, experience, and reasoning.