Inductive Reasoning

Cite this article as:"Inductive Reasoning," in The Business Professor, updated April 22, 2020, last accessed October 29, 2020,

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What is Inductive Reasoning?

Inductive reasoning concerns drawing or reaching a generalized conclusion based upon observation or awareness of specific instances. It necessarily involves assumptions concerning facts or behavior based upon the probabilities derived from observation.

For example, I eat pastrami sandwiches at several delis. They all are served with Rye bread. I induce from my observation that pastrami sandwiches are always served on rye bread.

My generalized conclusion is based upon a few experiences. It is not based upon universal truths or known facts (which would be deductive reasoning) or searching for a hypothesis based upon observations (which is abductive reasoning).

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