What is deductive and inductive reasoning? Explanation with examples

Let us say that a person goes to a market. There he observes different fruits. From his observation, he develops the idea that all oranges that he sees are fruits. Then he observes more and draws the idea that all fruits have seeds. So this man has made two observations i.e. oranges are fruits, and all fruits have seeds. Now from these two observations, he forms the concluding idea that all oranges must have seeds.

We can clearly see that this person has used some sort of logic or reasoning. Such reasoning is often used by humans in their daily lives.

However, using logic or reasoning in offices, universities, scientific work, etc. is essential. There you are faced with many issues which you have to handle logically to reach efficient results or conclusions. It is not your academic life where you can simply buy dissertation to solve your problems. You need to use your own analytical skills.

While dealing with analytical problems, we often use two types of reasoning. These include inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. The above-mentioned example of reasoning is a deductive reasoning example.

What is deductive reasoning?

Deductive reasoning is sometimes known as top-down reasoning or deductive logic. The mental process of making deductive inferences is known as deductive reasoning. This can be considered a general deductive reasoning definition. The result of a deductive inference flows logically from the premises, i.e. it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion to be wrong.

Definitions and examples of deductive reasoning?

How can we basically define deductive reasoning? Let us dive in this entire concept in a bit more depth.

Deductive reasoning definition

Well, deductive reasoning is a logical process that leads from broad concepts to specific conclusions.

What steps are involved in deductive reasoning?

You start with pondering over an idea. You will then make an argument for this given idea in deductive reasoning. And then you will try to reach a conclusion regarding your argument. You will try to see whether your argument is right or wrong.

But on what grounds do we make our arguments or assumptions? We now know that deductive reasoning involves beginning with a broad well-established idea or theory. So by combining several premises, you can draw an inference or reach a conclusion.

What do we mean by a premise?

A premise is a statement that establishes the foundation for a theory or general idea. It is a widely recognized idea, fact, or rule. Conclusions are statements that are backed up by evidence.

How to draw conclusions using a premise?

In a simple deductive logic argument, you’ll typically start with one premise and then add another. Of course, you need to compare two ideas to make any statement. Then, based on these two premises, you draw a conclusion. This is known as the premise-premise-conclusion format.

Deductive reasoning example

The example given at the start of this blog was a general one. Now we will look at an example keeping the idea of the premise in mind.

Premise: Mammals are warm-blooded vertebrates.

Premise: Human beings are also warm-blooded and have backbones.

Conclusion: Therefore, human beings are mammals.
Here, we started from a broad concept and reached a specific conclusion.

Validity and soundness of deductive reasoning

Valid deductive arguments:

Sometimes, in an argument, two totally made-up premises are used. And consequently, a conclusion is drawn. The argument in such cases seems valid, because the premises, though made-up, logically support one another. E.g.:

 

Premise: train stations will be blocked when it’ll rain.

Premise: it is raining right now.

Conclusion: hence, the train station is blocked right now.

Here, the conclusion cannot be true for sure, but the argument is valid.

Invalid deductive arguments:

Other times, your reasoning is invalid because the premises you used do not follow a logically right pattern, although they might be true. The resulting conclusion can be true or false. E.g.:

Premise: Reptiles have a tail (Motani, R., 2009).

Premise: My neighbor’s pet has a tail.

Conclusion: So it is a reptile.

 

Here, the conclusion might be true; it might be false as well. But the argument is definitely not right or logical.

Soundness in deductive reasoning

If both the premises are true, and the relation between them is logical too, then the argument is sound. Of course, the conclusion will definitely be true in such cases.

Deductive reasoning vs. inductive reasoning?

Inductive and deductive reasoning, both are used to make observations or draw conclusions. But inductive reasoning, on the other hand, starts with specific observations and leads to broad conclusions.

In deductive reasoning, you make use of the already established theories. Like in the example given above, we know that mammals are warm-blooded vertebrates is a well-established theory. Based on such established theories, you form a hypothesis and then draw a conclusion.

But in inductive reasoning, you instead try to make theories based on the observations. Hence, inductive reasoning might be considered an explanatory method.

Benefits of deductive reasoning

Being able to use deductive reasoning in daily life’s decisions has its own benefits. You are able to reach possibly the right conclusions in a logical manner.

Being analytically good is essential for anyone. Even celebrities are not stupid. They too are well-educated. Celebrities went to Harvard to complete their higher education even when it is not directly linked to their profession. Then why should common people not incorporate this fruitful practice into their daily lives too?

However, this concept of deductive reasoning is particularly more useful in the job sector. Many job sectors involve deductive reasoning test as part of their employee recruitment procedure. Even when it is not overtly used in the testing, nonetheless, you have to make many decisions in your work based on reasoning.

Being good at deductive reasoning is hence valued by employers. You can also try to show that you are good at deductive reasoning through your resume. You can write about critical tasks that you undertook which reflected your deductive reasoning abilities. This can surely give you an edge in your job application, especially if it is for a managerial post.

If you don’t have prior job experience, you can relate achievements. For instance, how you were able to logically come up with digital marketing dissertation topics, etc.

Many people know that they will be evaluated through a deductive reasoning test. And hence, they prepare for it.

Deductive reasoning tests

Here’s a brief guideline about how you might be evaluated through a deductive reasoning test. Any candidate giving such a test is provided with various pieces of information. And you have to drive the right logical conclusion from that information. In simple words, your ability to make the right decisions is judged. To check the candidate’s deductive reasoning skills, employers use different platforms. Two of these are mentioned below:

SHL verify ability test

SHL is a corporation that creates psychometric tests to assess prospective employees’ diagrammatic, numerical, and verbal reasoning abilities.

These tests are around 25 minutes long. A range of somewhat varied question styles is used in the format. The first will be entirely verbal. The premises in this section are a series of statements. The second will be based on images. The premises might be a little more abstract or numerical. The next step in the test is to recognize the premises in a block of text. Your response is then judged for your abilities.

Kenexa ability tests

Another similar concept is that of Kenexa ability test. Kenexa assessments are a collection of online pre-employment psychometric aptitude tests designed to find new talent and evaluate who is the greatest fit for the job. Kenexa offers aptitude tests that evaluate a candidate’s cognitive, personality, and behavioral abilities. Kenexa looks at logical, numerical, and linguistic reasoning as cognitive criteria.

It usually has 20 questions that have to be answered in around 20 minutes. These consist of statements in which logic has to be used to draw the right conclusions.

The use of deductive reasoning in research

Scientific research often includes the use of deductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning in research is used in both academic and non-academic fields. The most common use of deductive reasoning is in the area of quantitative research.

Researchers often make use of hypothetico-deductive method. First, they form a hypothesis. And then they use this method to check whether their hypothesis is right according to the real-world data or not.

Deductive reasoning in research is carried out through some specific steps. These steps can be outlined as written below:

  • checkedCreate a problem statement for a research problem.
  • checkedCreate a testable hypothesis.
  • checkedCollect data using relevant methods.
  • checkedExamine and test your information.
  • checkedDetermine whether your null hypothesis should be rejected.

In this way, deductive reasoning is of great help to researchers all around the world.

References

  1. thesiswritinghelp.com.pk. (n.d.). Top-Notch Dissertation Writing Services By Expert Writers. [online] Available at: https://thesiswritinghelp.com.pk/dissertation-writing-service [Accessed 11 May 2022].
  2. Motani, R., 2009. The evolution of marine reptiles. Evolution: Education and Outreach2(2), pp.224-235.
  3. professionalessayservice.co.uk. (2021). Top Ten Hollywood Celebrities Who Went To Harvard – Professional Essay Service. [online] Available at: https://www.professionalessayservice.co.uk/top-ten-hollywood-celebrities-who-went-to-harvard/.
  4. Best Assignment Writer. (n.d.). The best 5 easy steps for an MBA dissertation – Best Assignment Writers. [online] Available at: https://bestassignmentwriter.co.uk/blog/5-easy-steps-for-a-perfect-mba-dissertation/ [Accessed 11 May 2022].
Read more

Get Professional help

Professional team of writers

Professional writers

24/7 Support
+44-207193-7705 (Sales) +44-122392-6189 (Support)
2 WhatsApp Now popup Get Instant 50% Discount on Live Chat!