Inductive Reasoning

Cite this article as:"Inductive Reasoning," in The Business Professor, updated April 22, 2020, last accessed August 6, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/inductive-reasoning/.

Back to: Management & Organizational Behavior

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).

Was this article helpful?