Inductive Reasoning

Brooke Wexler

Definition:

-Reasoning that takes specific information and makes a broader generalization that is considered probable, allowing for the fact that the conclusion may not be accurate. It starts by looking at information and trying to figure out the causes.


-The form of reasoning in which we come to conclusions about the whole on the basis of observations of particular instances.


synonym ~ generalization

Examples:

  • Jill and Joe are friends. Jill likes to dance, cook and write. Joe likes to dance and cook. Therefore it can be assumed he also likes to write.


  • All observed basketball players are tall, so all basketball players must be tall.


  • Jennifer leaves for school at 7:00 a.m. and is on time. Jennifer assumes, then, that she will always be on time if she leaves at 7:00 a.m.


  • All observed brown dogs are small dogs. Therefore, all small dogs are brown.


  • The water at the beach has always been about 75 degrees in July. It is July. The water will be about 75 degrees.


  • Bob is a teacher. All teachers are nice. Therefore, it can be assumed that Bob is nice.
Using inductive reasoning will not be beneficial if you make errors in logic. This is because you are drawing a conclusion that does not follow from the premise and is instead based on an assumption. In the above examples, only the last one is logically valid; however it is based on a premise ("All teachers are nice") that cannot be proved true.