Deductive Vs. Inductive Thinking Methods


Human thinking has always been one of the most challenging and confusing topics to study. Each person is unique, with their unique qualities, socially, biologically, and psychologically. It is difficult to estimate how educated a person is by referring to his thinking style only. This is a very abstract notion and cannot claim to be objective due to the factors mentioned earlier. Of course, there are different scales for assessing intellectual abilities, such as the IQ test, but they are only one of the crudest methods. By crude, we mean that the way of thinking and reasoning is not taken into account, but only the final result a person achieves as they pass the test (Hanly, 2018). There is no metric in the world that can tell you precisely how creative and intelligent a person is by reference to their characteristics. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine what kinds of human thinking might be, what they affect, and how each person comes to different conclusions based on personal qualities and prerequisites.

Types of Thinking

Globally, there are two main types of thinking, on the basis of which it is possible to arrive at conclusions. They are called deductive and inductive (Carreira et al., 2020). Despite the similarity of their names, the principle of their work is fundamentally different from each other and is based on opposite inputs. Consideration of each of the methods of thinking is significant because it helps to come to the conclusion of how important they are in human life, despite the fact that not many people know the principles of their work and the underlying mechanism.

Deductive Type

To begin with, it is necessary to become familiar with such a method of judgment as a deduction. It may be expected to many by the presence of this method in the most famous representative of the detective profession, Sherlock Holmes. Arthur Conan Doyle often used the word deduction when describing the methods Sherlock used but did not give a specific explanation of what it was. In modern scientific parlance, the practice of deduction involves drawing conclusions from a theory and its evidential basis, thus having a result by means of judgments about the general and creating a specific sphere of thought.

This method of thinking should consist of several stages, which are closely related to each other and show the principle of this method. The first, and most crucial stage, is the search for the necessary theory. It may be any judgment over which it is vital to analyze and consider from different angles, which is what the theory of deductive reasoning does (Coetzee & Monti, 2018). After a theoretical question has been stated, it must be either proved or disproved. This task is best done by formulating a hypothesis, which will help to prove or disprove the thesis. It should be correctly interpreted and help to understand the meaning of the given theory to be able to be considered in the future (Hanly, 2018).

After formulating the hypothesis, it is necessary to proceed to the next step, which is to gather information for the hypothesis. The data obtained can help in interpreting and creating a correct conclusion, on the basis of which the next step in work, namely testing, can be present (Halford & Andrews, 2020). Despite the information collected on the initial theory, they need to be confirmed and establish the correctness of the formulation. This will help to reconstruct more correctly what is happening and not to make a mistake in the establishment of the inference. The final stage is just the acceptance or denial of the posed statement. In fact, the final conclusion relies on all the steps performed and allows you to consider the situation judging by the various points of view and make a complete picture of what is happening based on the data of the study.

Inductive Type

Having a general idea of what the method of deductive thinking is, it is necessary to take into account the inductive method. Proceeding from the already said information, this method of reasoning starts from the already formulated concrete conclusion to the establishment of a hypothesis, from which the consideration of such a question could begin (Bonjour, 2017). The same as in the previous method, there are stages by which you can be guided in the establishment of patterns and formulation of the conclusion (Wang et al., 2020). The first of these is the observation stage of the object or event. This allows you to formulate a topic for further reasoning and to understand the importance of future research, as well as create a pretext for examining the question. The second step is to formulate a general concept based on the specific situation (Wang et al., 2020). For example, we can say that watching the process of creating a product, such as a hotdog in a cafe, you can time it, which is conditional 5 minutes, which may be faster than cooking a pizza. The comparison of the data obtained can already be called an observation, which helps to establish connections with this method of thinking. And create a theory that emerges from the data obtained during the study.

Validity & Truthfulness

On the other hand, human thinking is not always unequivocally true and requires the collection of additional information to argue one’s position. Regardless of what kind of thinking and reasoning is used, errors can occur because one cannot assert with complete certainty the validity of one’s perceptions and rely only on personal judgments about a particular case (Bonjour, 2017). For this purpose, concepts such as validity and truthfulness are introduced into the theory of reflection.

They may seem very similar, but there are striking differences between the two. Credibility is not derived from personal reasoning, but from the conclusions, it leads to. That is, credibility is the result of a comparison between the result of human thinking and the external factor that created it (Stephens, 2017). Truthfulness, on the other hand, has a more pronounced human element without reference to external variables (Coetzee & Monti, 2018). Here the human aspect of perception and presentation of information plays a prominent role, which significantly distinguishes this input from the previous result. Thus, thinking depends not only on the process itself but also on the interpretation of the data obtained and its interpretation, which can ruin the whole essence of the research work.

An Example of Usage

Speaking of examples of both these types of thinking and the possibility of their correct interpretation, it is possible to give an example of intuitive, at first glance, thinking. For example, if a child cries to which, the parents will have the same reaction, but significantly different than other people who do not have children. This is due to the fact that subconsciously this situation is projected differently on both categories, depending on which type of thinking dominates. For mother, it will be more developed toward the deductive since the hypothesis that the child is screaming is put forward, and what follows is a confirmation or refutation of the information, referring to personal experience and the circumstances in which they find themselves (Feeney & Heit, 2017).

This helps to more quickly identify the situation that has developed and understand if their child is in danger. On the other hand, people who don’t have children will have a completely different strategy for thinking because they have different inputs (Halford & Andrews, 2020). As a result, they will form the view that it is another child who has been hurt, not theirs, and probably needs help. Even though the situations are exactly the same, the approach to dealing with them is very different because of the other way of thinking.

However, it is necessary to introduce a credibility factor, which will be used during this situation. In the case of the mother, she cannot be entirely sure that another child has been hurt, and she needs to personally verify the information in order to know for sure the outcome of their thinking (Singmann & Klauer, 2018). At the same time, people without children can be absolutely sure that because they do not have a child, they could not have been harmed (G. Stephens, 2017). This situation perfectly illustrates how types of thinking allow us to look at a problem differently and what conclusions can be drawn from them.


As a result, it can be said that since human abilities to make logical conclusions are still not thoroughly studied, it is impossible to say for sure what factors influence the formation of specific findings. Despite the fact that there are only two types of interpretation and interpretation of data, namely inductive and deductive, their possibilities are much more comprehensive. Each of them is unique and necessary in specific situations, which makes them universal and interchangeable. However, although these methods can be substituted for each other in some situations, this does not negate the fact that some of the answers to the questions they examine may be biased. As was shown in the example of the mother, each person thinks differently and can make mistakes based on personal qualities and abilities, which is important to follow while making this analysis in the future.


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