Inductive and deductive reasoning are two methods adopted in research. The choice of approach depends on the design of the research and the researcher’s requirements.
Deductive reasoning is a top-down approach that works from general premises to a more specific conclusion. The premises are true, and the conclusion follows logically from them. Deductive reasoning involves deducing conclusions from an existing theory.
Inductive reasoning is a bottom-up approach, the opposite of deductive reasoning. It begins with specific observations and moves towards broader generalizations or theories. There is a degree of uncertainty in the conclusions, as they are based on premises. Inductive reasoning starts with specific observations, detects patterns and regularities, makes hypotheses, explores them, and finally arrives at generalizations known as theories.
- Inductive and deductive reasoning are two different approaches to research, with the choice depending on the research design and the researcher’s needs.
- Deductive reasoning is a top-down approach, working from general premises to a specific conclusion, while inductive reasoning is a bottom-up approach, starting with specific observations and moving towards broader generalizations or theories.
- Both approaches are useful and can be applied in different sets of circumstances, with deductive reasoning better suited for situations where scientific hypotheses are verified, and inductive reasoning more suited for social science studies. However, both approaches are often used in a single research project as needed by the researcher.