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Inductive and deductive approaches to research

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It is an approach best suited to research projects where there the phenomena to be investigated has not been previously explored. The most important point to bear in mind when considering whether to use an inductive or deductive approach is firstly the purpose of your research; and secondly the methods that are best suited to either test a hypothesis, explore a new or emerging area within the discipline, or to answer specific research questions.

Using Conceptual Frameworks in Qualitative Research. Methods and methodology Deborah Gabriel. Hi, yes the explanation was helpful because it was simple to read and pretty much, straight to the point. It has given me a brief understanding for what I needs. Deborah, thanks for this elaboration. Deductive research is more aimed towards testing a hypothesis and therefore is an approach more suited to working with quantitative data.

The process normally involves reproducing a previous study and seeing if the same results are produced. This does not lend itself to generating new theories since that is not the object of the research. Between inductive and deductive approaches there is also a third approach which I will write a post on shortly — abdductive. Dear Deborah, it has been very long time since you posted this article. However, I can testify that it is very helpful for a novis reseracher like me.

Deborah, thank you for given info, but i was in confusion reg, differences between deductive, inductive, abductive and new one Hypothetico-deductive approaches. Can it be possible to email the differences, its applications, tools used and scientific nature, to build a theory using quantitative survey method. My email Id is: Thanking you awaiting for your mail soon. You cannot take short cuts by by asking someone me to simply provide you with ready answers to your queries — especially when I do not have the time to do so!

Exactly, your work is simple and clear, that there are two research approaches, Inductive and deductive. Qualitative and Quantative approaches You gave clear differences in a balance, simple to understand, I suppose you are a teacher by profession. This is how we share knowledge,and you become more knowledgable. Thank you Lambawi, I am glad that these posts are proving useful. I will endeavour to add some more in the coming weeks! Thank you very much for sharing knowledge with me.

It really much helpful while preparing my college exam. Thank you ever so much for making it simple and easily understandable. Would love to see more posts. Thanks; this has been helpful in preparation for my forthcoming exams. Hi, I had a question would you call process tracing technique an inductive or deductive approach? Hope you can help me with the same. Process tracing is a qualitative analytical tool and therefore inductive rather than deductive, since its purpose is to identify new phenomena.

You might find this journal article useful:. Preparing for my Research Methods exams and I'm grateful for your explanations. This is a full lecture made simple. Thank you very much. I am very thankful for this information, madam you are just good. If you are believer, allow me to say, May God bless you with more knowledge and good health. I am currently doing Btech in forensic with Unisa would you be so kind and help with this question below and may I use your services while Iam doing this degree Please.

Deductive, which is not exploratory but designed to test a hypothesis. So this is unlike to be case study research but a quantitative study. Hi Deborah, I have been struggling with my research methods proposal, in finding the right methodology for my study.

This is the only explanation out of all the books that I have read which really enables me to truly understand the meaning of Grounded Theory for which you describe as an inductive. I just would like to say thank you for your explanation as this has helped me in a way, which I thought I would never get. In fact this has been very usefull information for me in my research,. It's very clear and easy to understand looking at the choice of language ,etc God bless you!!

Is it possible to use deductive approach in research concerning what has happened in an industry? Thank you very much this information has been extremely helpful. I can now progress with my dissertation. Thanks for that good work Deborah.

It has taken me quite a short time to read and understand. Kindly please help me understand what am required to write in this case where my teacher gave me this question: Please refer to the recommended reading: Many thanks to you, I really appreciate u on ur information provided basically on theories and approaches to understanding research.

Thank you so much!! The distinction between the two approaches is clear and concise. Most other websites tend to go into long discussions without really getting to the point.

This was very helpful. It is a very fruitful post. I would like to ask if the objective of my research is to develop an extended process from the existing processes. And I am going to use qualitative and quantitative research methods, because my research phenomenon requires to study the individual meanings and perceptions and then uses the findings from the qualitative study and also the theoretical study as inputs for the quantitative study.

So, which approach to follow in this case? Dear Tamer, Your question is too hypothetical for me to offer a response. But in any event, you are the only one who can decide whether an inductive or deductive approach is appropriate for your research project.

This is where methodology comes in — which is about determining what research methods will be most effective in answering your research questions and which are in sync with your approach e. What do you think about the approach with quantitative analyses that start with data to generate theories? Typically data mining techniques fit into my example. This is a question of methodology — research methods must be selected based on the discipline, research questions and approach to the study.

For example, If you are seeking to ascertain how many people read the news on their smartphones then a quantitiative method is most appropriate. On the other hand.

Which would be more appropriate qualitative or quantitative? In your own study, secondary sources would appear under a Literature Review. However, if you are doing a dissertation, say for an undergraduate degree where you are not undertaking primary research then inductive or deductive approaches are not applicable.

I hope this clarifies. Your comments are really good and easy to understand. Hope to contact you for my project. However my question is if my research is about answering specific research questions in a qualitative research. Am I to use the inductive or the deductive or the mixture of the two? This is because inductive aims to find new theories emerging from the data whereas deductive is centred on testing a hypothesis rather than exploring research questions.

Points of distinction top notch. Straight to the point. Keep up the good work. I found this site while searching the difference between the two on Google. Thank you for the input. I have developed 4 research questions, 3 are on 'what's and 1 'why'. The what is because my sample of analysis is multimodal text.

Will my study still fall under qualitative? Thank you in advance, Deborah. I appreciate it very much. Hi Zilla, It is hard to provide a definitive answer without knowing what your research questions are although time does not permit me to provide individual responses. You say that your sample is multimodal text — that is simply text plus media such as videos, pictures etc. My question to you is whether this multimodal text has been generated from primary research — i. If that is the case then I would presume that this would be a qualitative research project that would lend itself to an inductive approach,since I cannot imagine that you would be able to work with a very large sample of multimodal text.

Dear Deborah I just want to ask you to help me with generation of theory. Steps that need to be followed. Thanks a lot for showing me the best way to understand the basic difference between two approaches of research.

Dear Aliyu, time does not permit me to provide responses on your individual projects. Therefore, my aim is to equip you with the understanding of different approaches so that you have both the confidence and competence to make appropriate decisions on the most suitable methodological approaches to your research. I am gathering quantitative data to develop a model to represent the behavior of a material using an existing model. I subsequently used this model to simulate the material behavior with a computer program.

Could you please kindly let me know what is my reasearch method Thanks. Dr, your explanation about inductive research and deductive, is meaningful to postgraduate students. What is your suggestion on my research topic: Today the same question appeared and I used your explanation as my response to the question.

May I ask you question? Focus on what your research objectives are and then choose the approach that will be most efefctive in meeting these objectives. Thanks Deborah for the explanation but, i want to ask if descriptive is inductive or deductive approach? Can I ask one question? I am going to research how technology is changing the hotel industry particularly at the hotel front desk so is that inductive or deductive approach?

I believe deductive approach because the aim of my research is to investigate current used technology at hotel front desk. So what do you think please let me know Thank you very much indeed.

Please refer to my post on conceptual frameworks to take you through the key steps in developing a research project — you will find your answer there: Thank you so much Deborah. I have found the book very hard to understand especially when I'm wrtiting up the methodology section as I have to talk about deductive and inductive approaches.

You have simplified it and explained it well. Also you have made it so so easy to understand. Everyone should be reading this. Thank you so so, so much. Deborah, your work is precise,well organized and relevant. Hi Doc, thank you for making things simpler for me. I will always be incontact with your website. Hi Deborah, i just went through the abductive approach which is combination of inductive and deductive Approach.

But after going through the conversation in this page helped me a lot. Thank u very much. Title is Knowledge and Learning Model among effective repatriation. Thank u all again. Hi Deborah Thank you very much for the article.

My question is what approach am i supposed to take if i am doing a research that is both qualitative and quantitative. I am doing research on the feasibility of establishing renewable energy systems in a developing country.

I am using a simulation software to generate a model to analyse the technical and economic data Quantitative but i have to use interviews to capture social and polical views from industry experts Qualitative. So which approach is best in such a scenario? In a mixed methods study, the quanitiative dimension of the study usually functions to capture preliminary data, with the qualitative dimension being the primary method that answers the research questions.

In any case, in a mixed methods study you must peform both quantitative and qualitative data analysis — separately. In reference to your specifc study you need to refer back to your reearch questions and the aims and objectives of your study.

Is your primary objective to develop a model for a renewable energy system or is it to determine whether industry experts see the viability of the model?

If it is the latter then the approach should be inductive. I would advise you to consult your supervisor or someone in your discipline, as I am not an engineer.

Your explanation of concepts is succint and easily conceivable. No problem — you can use the contact form and your message will go directly to my email address. Thank you Deborah, that was a simple, clear explanation helpful for sure.

I like the way you simplified everything,was really helpful for my assignment. Inductive and deductive approaches to research. However it seems short. Dear Almaz, thank you for your feedback. Therefore, I am taking the Western literature outcomes and applying these in UAE context to see the results. Will this research be treated as "Deductive' or "Inductive"? Should I choose 'Quantitative" or "Qualitative' approach? Wishing you all the best.

So what is grounded theory? This has been troubling me for a while. It is often said that the interpretive paradigm typically goes with inductive approaches and methods involving observation, interviews and research into archives. But then if concepts are to emerge from the data without theoretical preconceptions, how come it is often said that the research design, choice of case studies, and initial coding in thematic analysis can be theory driven?

Or, how does theory coming before the research design fit with an inductive approach? In my experience so far authors seem to evade this point. Thank You so very much Deborah. I really got to uncover what puzzled me on deductive versus inductive approaches. It was very simple and useful.

It is very useful for my dissertation. If I want to conduct a research to find those elements in a bank operation. Hi Deborah, Thank you for a great article! It made it very clear the differenece between deductive and inductive. I'd like to ask you the following: People have a tendency to rely on information that is easily accessible in the world around them.

For example, in surveys, when people are asked to estimate the percentage of people who died from various causes, most respondents would choose the causes that have been most prevalent in the media such as terrorism, and murders, and airplane accidents rather than causes such as disease and traffic accidents, which have been technically "less accessible" to the individual since they are not emphasized as heavily in the world around them.

The confirmation bias is based on the natural tendency to confirm rather than to deny a current hypothesis. Research has demonstrated that people are inclined to seek solutions to problems that are more consistent with known hypotheses rather than attempt to refute those hypotheses. Often, in experiments, subjects will ask questions that seek answers that fit established hypotheses, thus confirming these hypotheses. For example, if it is hypothesized that Sally is a sociable individual, subjects will naturally seek to confirm the premise by asking questions that would produce answers confirming that Sally is in fact a sociable individual.

The predictable-world bias revolves around the inclination to perceive order where it has not been proved to exist, either at all or at a particular level of abstraction. Gambling, for example, is one of the most popular examples of predictable-world bias. Gamblers often begin to think that they see simple and obvious patterns in the outcomes and, therefore, believe that they are able to predict outcomes based upon what they have witnessed. In reality, however, the outcomes of these games are difficult to predict and highly complex in nature.

However, in general, people tend to seek some type of simplistic order to explain or justify their beliefs and experiences, and it is often difficult for them to realise that their perceptions of order may be entirely different from the truth. A generalization more accurately, an inductive generalization proceeds from a premise about a sample to a conclusion about the population. There are 20 balls—either black or white—in an urn. To estimate their respective numbers, you draw a sample of four balls and find that three are black and one is white.

A good inductive generalization would be that there are 15 black and five white balls in the urn. How much the premises support the conclusion depends upon a the number in the sample group, b the number in the population, and c the degree to which the sample represents the population which may be achieved by taking a random sample. The hasty generalization and the biased sample are generalization fallacies. Two dicto simpliciter fallacies can occur in statistical syllogisms: Simple induction proceeds from a premise about a sample group to a conclusion about another individual.

This is a combination of a generalization and a statistical syllogism, where the conclusion of the generalization is also the first premise of the statistical syllogism. The basic form of inductive inference , simply induction , reasons from particular instances to all instances, and is thus an unrestricted generalization.

As this reasoning form 's premises, even if true, do not entail the conclusion's truth, this is a form of inductive inference. The conclusion might be true, and might be thought probably true, yet it can be false. Questions regarding the justification and form of enumerative inductions have been central in philosophy of science , as enumerative induction has a pivotal role in the traditional model of the scientific method.

The process of analogical inference involves noting the shared properties of two or more things, and from this basis inferring that they also share some further property: Analogical reasoning is very frequent in common sense , science , philosophy and the humanities , but sometimes it is accepted only as an auxiliary method. A refined approach is case-based reasoning. A causal inference draws a conclusion about a causal connection based on the conditions of the occurrence of an effect.

Premises about the correlation of two things can indicate a causal relationship between them, but additional factors must be confirmed to establish the exact form of the causal relationship.

As a logic of induction rather than a theory of belief, Bayesian inference does not determine which beliefs are a priori rational, but rather determines how we should rationally change the beliefs we have when presented with evidence. We begin by committing to a prior probability for a hypothesis based on logic or previous experience, and when faced with evidence, we adjust the strength of our belief in that hypothesis in a precise manner using Bayesian logic.

Around , Ray Solomonoff founded the theory of universal inductive inference , the theory of prediction based on observations; for example, predicting the next symbol based upon a given series of symbols. This is a formal inductive framework that combines algorithmic information theory with the Bayesian framework.

Universal inductive inference is based on solid philosophical foundations, [31] and can be considered as a mathematically formalized Occam's razor. Fundamental ingredients of the theory are the concepts of algorithmic probability and Kolmogorov complexity.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the technique in mathematical proof, see Mathematical induction. Thinking portal Logic portal. Abductive reasoning Algorithmic probability Analogy Bayesian probability Counterinduction Deductive reasoning Explanation Failure mode and effects analysis Falsifiability Grammar induction Inductive inference Inductive logic programming Inductive probability Inductive programming Inductive reasoning aptitude Inductivism Inquiry Kolmogorov complexity Lateral thinking Laurence Jonathan Cohen Logic Logical positivism Machine learning Mathematical induction Mill's Methods Minimum description length Minimum message length New riddle of induction Open world assumption Raven paradox Recursive Bayesian estimation Retroduction Solomonoff's theory of inductive inference Statistical inference Stephen Toulmin Marcus Hutter.

Essentials of Logic Second ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: While this usage is still sometimes found even in philosophical and mathematical contexts, for the most part, it is outdated. International Journal of General Systems. The Problem of Induction. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Kant's account of reason". Fundamentals of Discrete Mathematical Structures 3rd ed. Retrieved 1 December Rationality without Foundations New York: Routledge , , ch.

Cambridge University Press , , pp , — A fairly recent debate has arisen over the merits of strict inductivism. Some philosophers have argued that there are other forms of nondeductive inference that do not fit the model of enumerative induction. Peirce describes a form of inference called ' abduction ' or ' inference to the best explanation '.

This form of inference appeals to explanatory considerations to justify belief. One infers, for example, that two students copied answers from a third because this is the best explanation of the available data—they each make the same mistakes and the two sat in view of the third.

Alternatively, in a more theoretical context, one infers that there are very small unobservable particles because this is the best explanation of Brownian motion. Let us call 'liberal inductivism' any view that accepts the legitimacy of a form of inference to the best explanation that is distinct from enumerative induction.

For a defense of liberal inductivism, see Gilbert Harman 's classic paper. Harman defends a strong version of liberal inductivism according to which enumerative induction is just a disguised form of inference to the best explanation ". Routledge , , pp 63— Routledge , , "The validity of inference"], pp —64, quote on p Routledge , , p Simon and Schuster, , pp An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding.

Archived from the original on 31 December Retrieved 27 December Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Reidel Publishing , , pp — However, these exceptions are relatively rare.

They occur, for example, in the machine learning programs of AI. For the vast bulk of human science both past and present, rules of inductive inference do not exist.

For such science, Popper's model of conjectures which are freely invented and then tested out seems to me more accurate than any model based on inductive inferences. Admittedly, there is talk nowadays in the context of science carried out by humans of 'inference to the best explanation' or 'abductive inference', but such so-called inferences are not at all inferences based on precisely formulated rules like the deductive rules of inference.

Those who talk of 'inference to the best explanation' or 'abductive inference', for example, never formulate any precise rules according to which these so-called inferences take place. In reality, the 'inferences' which they describe in their examples involve conjectures thought up by human ingenuity and creativity, and by no means inferred in any mechanical fashion, or according to precisely specified rules".

An Introduction 2nd ed. In a typical enumerative induction, the premises list the individuals observed to have a common property, and the conclusion claims that all individuals of the same population have that property. Links to related articles.

Operant conditioning Classical conditioning Imprinting Observational learning. Deductive reasoning Inductive reasoning Abductive reasoning. Argumentation theory Axiology Critical thinking Logic in computer science Mathematical logic Metalogic Metamathematics Non-classical logic Philosophical logic Philosophy of logic Set theory.

Mathematical logic Boolean algebra Set theory. Logicians Rules of inference Paradoxes Fallacies Logic symbols. Alchemy Criticism of science Epistemology Faith and rationality History and philosophy of science History of science History of evolutionary thought Logic Metaphysics Pseudoscience Relationship between religion and science Rhetoric of science Sociology of scientific knowledge Sociology of scientific ignorance. Philosophers of science by era. Plato Aristotle Stoicism Epicureans. Antihumanism Empiricism Rationalism Scientism.

Non-Euclidean geometry s Uncertainty principle Behavioralism Post-behavioralism Critical rationalism Criticism of science Epistemology anarchism idealism nihilism pluralism realism Holism Instrumentalism Modernism Naturalism in literature Nomothetic—idiographic distinction Objectivity in science Operationalism Phenomenalism Philosophy of science Deductive-nomological model Ramsey sentence Sense-data theory Qualitative research Relationship between religion and science Sociology Social science Philosophy Structural functionalism Structuralism Structuration theory.

Methodenstreit s Werturteilsstreit — Positivismusstreit s Fourth Great Debate in international relations s Science wars s. Knowledge Objectivity Phronesis Truth Verstehen.

Mean arithmetic geometric harmonic Median Mode. Central limit theorem Moments Skewness Kurtosis L-moments. Grouped data Frequency distribution Contingency table. Pearson product-moment correlation Rank correlation Spearman's rho Kendall's tau Partial correlation Scatter plot.

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The main difference between inductive and deductive approaches to research is that whilst a deductive approach is aimed and testing theory, an inductive approach is concerned with the generation of new theory emerging from the data.

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In logic, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches. Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach.

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Inductive approach, also known in inductive reasoning, starts with the observations and theories are proposed towards the end of the research . 3 Research Methods Research Types Deductive Approach Inductive Approach In research, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches.

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While inductive reasoning is commonly used in scientific research, it is not without its weaknesses. For example, it is not always logically valid to assume that a general principle is correct simply because it is supported by a limited number of cases.