Inductive Reasoning


During the scientific process , deductive reasoning is used to reach a true logical conclusion just like inductive reasoning . People often confuse deductive reasoning with inductive reasoning, and vice versa. It is important to learn the meaning of each type of reasoning in order to identify the proper logic. Inductive reasoning is the opposite of deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning makes extensive generalizations from specific observations . Basically, there is a series of data and then conclusions are drawn from it. This is known as inductive logic.

What is inductive reasoning?

It is a process that considers a series of individual experiences to be able to extract from them a principle that is broader and more general, although the conclusion may be false and that a true conclusion is reached is a probability.



Inductive reasoning is a logical process in which multiple premises , all considered true or that are true most of the time, are combined to obtain a specific conclusion.


Induction uses evidence rather than logic when it refers to all events being true, so that should be true as well. This can result in a more uncertain and probabilistic conclusion . The inductive arguments are, therefore, always questionable and this amplitude allows use when deductive methods may not work, for example, prediction or invention.

Inductive reasoning, or induction, is reasoning from a specific case or cases and deriving a general rule . You draw inferences from observations to make generalizations, and when you do, you are able to recognize that the conclusions may not be true. The inference can be made in four stages :  observation or compilation of the facts, the analysis or classification of the facts, identifying patterns of regularity, the inference that arises from the patterns and that infers generalizations about the relationships between the facts and by last confirmation which consists of proving the inference through additional observation.

Inductive reasoning characteristics

The main characteristics of inductive reasoning are the following:

  • It is the opposite of deductive reasoning .
  • The validity of the premises does not condition the value of the conclusion .
  • It was created by Francis Bacon , a British-born philosopher during the 16th century.
  • It was believed that the method was used to be able to analyze nature to find positive facts.
  • It uses three elements to apply the reasoning: the presence table in which the facts that show the phenomenon are placed, the absence table where the events that do not occur in the phenomenon are written and finally, the table of degrees that shows the facts that appear in the phenomenon and their intensities.
  • It is a reasoning that goes from the particular to the general .
  • It is given the observation of detailed facts and then a proposed law that explains why occur regularly.


There are two different types of inductive reasoning which are:

  • Complete : this type of reasoning is similar to deductive because the conclusion reached does not provide more information than has already been given by the premises . In the complete inductive one seeks to study all the individuals who have been reached by the extension of the concept under study.
  • Incomplete : here the conclusion manages to go beyond the data that the premises have shown and the more data there is, the greater the probability. The truth in the premises, however, does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion .

How it differs from deductive reasoning

Inductive reasoning is known as the logic of bottom to top , while the deductive reasoning is known as the approach from top to bottom .

The inductive reasoning method begins with a specific topic in order to reach a general conclusion , while the deductive method takes general concepts to reach a specific conclusion .


The main criticism of the reasoning was made by Hempel because from his point of view when we state a general proposition or advance in a hypothesis , we also advance in one or more hypotheses that are logically equivalent to each other. Apart from this, the principle of induction cannot be justified on logical grounds and data can only be collected from a given hypothesis .

Examples of inductive reasoning

Some examples of inductive reasoning are as follows:

  • Jennifer leaves for school at 7:00 am She is always on time so she assumes, so she will always be on time if she leaves at 7:00 am
  • Each storm of wind happens in this area comes from the north. I can see a large cloud of dust caused by a windstorm in the distance; then a new windstorm comes from the north.
  • Pedro shows a large diamond ring to his friend Juan. Pedro told Juan that he will marry Julia. Juan induces that Pedro has bought the diamond ring to give Julia.
  • The chair in the living room is red. The chair in the dining room is red. The chair on the bed is red. So all the chairs in the house are red.
  • Every time you eat peanuts, your throat closes up and you can’t breathe. So, you are allergic to peanuts.

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