Inductive & Deductive Reasoning Difference

Published 16 October, 2023

Inductive and deductive are basically two research approaches. While performing the investigation it is very crucial to select the best research approach. Making the right choice of research approach is very much essential for raising the efficiency of the research process. The difference between Inductive and Deductive Reasoning is that one starts with a generalization and then gathers evidence to test it, while the other starts with specific observations, use them to generate new ideas or theories. The latter approach is more exploratory in nature. This blog post will help you learn how these two approaches differ from each other so that you can apply them correctly in your own research.

Introduction of Inductive & Deductive Reasoning

Here is the brief introduction of inductive and deductive reasoning, as follows:

Inductive Research

It is research that researchers use for performing qualitative research. Researchers use such a type of research approach when they have no idea about research results. You can use an inductive approach for developing a new Hypothesis in research. Students, in order to generate a new theory, will require analyzing the previous hypothesis. The inductive approach begins with the observation of phenomena and theories which researcher designs after completion of the research procedure.

Inductive research will allow you to provide a justifiable reason for specific situations by providing examples of real life. In the context of inductive reasoning, before beginning the investigation you need to gather information according to the research topics or subject. You can utilize inductive research there is a lack of previous literature on a particular subject or topic.

The inductive research approach consists of three stages:

  1. Observation
  2. Observe a pattern
  3. Develop a theory

For example, Suppose you have observed a hundred flights at the airport. There was a delay in all flights. After a continuous delay of all hundred flights, you still can’t state that there will delay in 101 flights also. Still, the larger your dataset, the more reliable the conclusion.

Deductive Research

Deductive reasoning is the approach that is supported by the basic idea for developing specific circumstances. This approach is relevant to the Positivism paradigm. While using the deductive approach in research you need to first examine the hypothesis in research. It is a type of research approach that researcher mainly use for performing scientific studies.

The choice of the type of research approach that you are going to select is dependent on the objective of performing an investigation on a specific topic or subject.

The deductive research approach consists of four stages:

  1. Start with existing theory
  2. Formulate a hypothesis based on existing theory
  3. Collect data to test the hypothesis
  4. Analyze the result

For example, it has been said that all man is mortal which is basically a premise.
Roman is a man that is second premises.
Roman is a mortal that is the conclusion.

Difference between inductive and deductive research approach

Basis of Difference Inductive Research Approach Deductive Research Approach


You can utilize an inductive research approach in a situation when there no hypothesis exists to test. Students apply the deductive research is only in the case when theory exits for testing.


Formulation of new hypothesis by utilizing the information which you have collected through research. The aim of deductive reasoning is to test previous theories.


The different phases you need to undergo while using the inductive approach for investigation include

  1. Collection of facts,
  2. Observation or analysis
  3. And the formulation of hypothesis
The different stages which researchers need to undergo while applying the deductive approach to the investigation include:

  1. Formulation of theory
  2. Data analysis
  3. Determining theories supported or not.


By applying an inductive approach you can mainly concentrate on exploring new aspects of your study. The deductive approach mainly emphasizes causality.


One of the main advantages of the inductive research approach is that it helps you in generalizing your findings. An important benefit of the deductive research approach is that it enables you to define the causal relationships between different types of variables or concepts.


One of the biggest limitations of the inductive approach is that you can prove the conclusion that you have made from the information gathered through investigation. The limitation of the deductive approach is that it can prove to be right only when all the terms are clear.


Inductive research is mainly applied in Qualitative research.  Deductive research is mostly used in Quantitative research.


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