# Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning What’s the Difference

(ORDO NEWS) — You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to use your deductive and inductive reasoning skills. There are simpler logical explanations for these approaches. So what’s the difference?

In the course of the scientific process, deductive reasoning is used to reach a logical and true conclusion. Another type of reasoning, inductive, is also widely used. People often confuse deductive reasoning with inductive reasoning. However, there are significant differences between the two methods.

### What is deductive reasoning (deduction)?

Deductive reasoning, also known as deduction, is the main form of reasoning. According to Norman Guerr, a professor at California State University, Northridge, the scientific method uses deduction to test hypotheses and theories that predict certain outcomes if they are correct.

In deductive reasoning, there is a first premise, then a second premise, and finally a conclusion (based on reasoning and evidence). A common form of deductive reasoning is the syllogism, in which two propositions—the main premise and the secondary premise—come together to a logical conclusion.

For example, the primary premise “every A is a B” might be followed by the minor premise “every C is an A”. These statements will lead to the conclusion that “C is B”. Syllogisms are considered a good way to test deductive reasoning to see if an argument is valid.

Another example: “All spiders have eight legs. Tarantula is a spider. Therefore, tarantulas have eight legs.” For deductive reasoning to be valid, the hypothesis must be correct.

The statements “All spiders have eight legs” and “A tarantula is a spider” are assumed to be true. Therefore, the conclusion is logical and correct. In deductive reasoning, if something is true of a class of things in general, then it is also true of all members of that class.

According to Guerra, deductive inferences are reliable provided the premises are correct. The argument “all bald men are grandfathers. Harold is bald.

So “Grandpa Harold” is logically valid, but it’s not true because the original premise is false. Now let’s look at the next example. Primary Premise: All Plants Photosynthesise; Secondary Premise: Cactus is a Plant; Conclusion: Cactus Photosynthesise. This conclusion is correct.

### What is inductive reasoning (induction)?

While deductive reasoning starts with a premise that is proven by observations, inductive reasoning derives a probable (but not certain) premise from specific and limited observations. There is data, and then conclusions are drawn from them – this is called inductive logic.

“In inductive reasoning we go from the particular to the general. We make a lot of observations, discern patterns, generalize, and come up with an explanation or theory,” Wasserteil-Smoller notes in an interview with Live Science. In science, there is a constant interplay between inductive inference (based on observations) and deductive inference (based on theory).

The reliability of the conclusion made with the help of inductive logic depends on the completeness of observations. Suppose you have a bag of coins and you draw three coins from the bag, each coin is a penny.

Using inductive logic, you can assume that all the coins in the bag are pennies. Even though all of the initial observations—that every coin taken from the bag was a penny—are correct, inductive reasoning does not guarantee that the conclusion will be correct. Here is another example: “Penguins are birds.

Penguins cannot fly. Therefore, all birds cannot fly.” The conclusion does not follow logically from the statement. Let’s turn to another example. Data: I see fireflies in my backyard every summer, hypothesis: I will probably see fireflies in my backyard this summer. In this case, the hypothesis is correct.

Inductive reasoning has its place in the scientific method and scientists use it to form hypotheses and theories. Deductive reasoning then allows them to apply theories to specific situations.

Deductive reasoning is the best method for solving complex problems, while inductive reasoning works best for solving the simplest questions.

### Abductive reasoning

Another form of scientific reasoning that differs from inductive and deductive reasoning is abductive reasoning. This type of reasoning is based on the construction and testing of hypotheses using the best available information. This often entails an educated guess after observing a phenomenon for which there is no clear explanation.

For example, a person enters their apartment and finds torn papers all over the floor. The dog was alone in the apartment all day.

The person concludes that the dog tore the papers because that is the most likely scenario. It’s possible that the family member with the key to the apartment ripped the papers, or it could have been the landlord, but the dog theory is the most likely conclusion.

Abductive reasoning is useful for forming hypotheses to be tested. They are often used by doctors, who make a diagnosis based on test results, and by jurors, who make decisions based on the evidence presented to them.

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