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What Is Deductive Research?

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❶Once the data analysis has been completed the researcher must examine existing theories in order to position their new theory within the discipline.

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Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning

Please refer to my post on conceptual frameworks to take you through the key steps in developing a research project — you will find your answer there: Thank you so much Deborah. I have found the book very hard to understand especially when I'm wrtiting up the methodology section as I have to talk about deductive and inductive approaches.

You have simplified it and explained it well. Also you have made it so so easy to understand. Everyone should be reading this. Thank you so so, so much. Deborah, your work is precise,well organized and relevant. Hi Doc, thank you for making things simpler for me. I will always be incontact with your website. Hi Deborah, i just went through the abductive approach which is combination of inductive and deductive Approach. But after going through the conversation in this page helped me a lot.

Thank u very much. Title is Knowledge and Learning Model among effective repatriation. Thank u all again. Hi Deborah Thank you very much for the article. My question is what approach am i supposed to take if i am doing a research that is both qualitative and quantitative.

I am doing research on the feasibility of establishing renewable energy systems in a developing country. I am using a simulation software to generate a model to analyse the technical and economic data Quantitative but i have to use interviews to capture social and polical views from industry experts Qualitative. So which approach is best in such a scenario?

In a mixed methods study, the quanitiative dimension of the study usually functions to capture preliminary data, with the qualitative dimension being the primary method that answers the research questions.

In any case, in a mixed methods study you must peform both quantitative and qualitative data analysis — separately. In reference to your specifc study you need to refer back to your reearch questions and the aims and objectives of your study. Is your primary objective to develop a model for a renewable energy system or is it to determine whether industry experts see the viability of the model? If it is the latter then the approach should be inductive.

I would advise you to consult your supervisor or someone in your discipline, as I am not an engineer. Your explanation of concepts is succint and easily conceivable. No problem — you can use the contact form and your message will go directly to my email address.

Thank you Deborah, that was a simple, clear explanation helpful for sure. I like the way you simplified everything,was really helpful for my assignment. Inductive and deductive approaches to research. However it seems short. Dear Almaz, thank you for your feedback. Therefore, I am taking the Western literature outcomes and applying these in UAE context to see the results.

Will this research be treated as "Deductive' or "Inductive"? Should I choose 'Quantitative" or "Qualitative' approach? Wishing you all the best. So what is grounded theory? This has been troubling me for a while. It is often said that the interpretive paradigm typically goes with inductive approaches and methods involving observation, interviews and research into archives. But then if concepts are to emerge from the data without theoretical preconceptions, how come it is often said that the research design, choice of case studies, and initial coding in thematic analysis can be theory driven?

Or, how does theory coming before the research design fit with an inductive approach? In my experience so far authors seem to evade this point.

Thank You so very much Deborah. I really got to uncover what puzzled me on deductive versus inductive approaches. It was very simple and useful. It is very useful for my dissertation. If I want to conduct a research to find those elements in a bank operation. Hi Deborah, Thank you for a great article! It made it very clear the differenece between deductive and inductive. I'd like to ask you the following: In answer to your question, I think maybe you are confusing research questions with hypotheses.

Hi Deborah Thanks for an intersting piece of work presented. Am kindly inquiring how i can get along with literature review and conceptual framemework on the topic 'IDPs and Solid Waste Management' and objectives; exploring everyday practice around solid waste management; finding out how social networks move and merge into new spaces for waste management and establish connections between waste management and social lfestyle. Hi Deborah thank you for a great article. Dear Amna, Welcome to the world of research — we all have to start somewhere!

If you're new to social research I would recommend you join the Social Research Association SRA who provide training and a wealth of resources for researchers. With regards to theory — unless you are researching new phenomena that has never been researched before or are developing a completely new approach unlikely you will not be creating 'new' theory with your research project. You will be using existing theory in your approach and embed theoretical perspectives into your methodology.

You will also likely use relevant theories when analysing your data. However, before you think about theory you need to develop your methodology — see my other post: Hi Deborah, Thank you for the precise and helpful information..

I need your help as I feel a little bit confused. I used the conceptual framework from other previous conducted study. It was conducted in quantitative manner. If i used the conceptual framework as my guidance for my literature review and interview question construction, is that okay if i do not use inductive for the case study because i do not build a new theory.

If i just compare and argue with the previous finding and the model used, is it consider as deductive approach in case study? What do you think?

It may require a little bit of referencing. Furthermore, adding citation line below will be useful for academic use. My study is ethnographic research specifically it studies about culture, tradition and lifestyle of an ethnic groups. I think my research is inductive, is it right? Thank you, I feel same as most the above commentators. Very well written — written in a way that I who for the first time heard of these two types of researcher methods, felt like I got a gist of what they are and how they are different.

Hi, It is really helpful me to get sorted these concepts in research field in simple manner. Thanks for that and really appreciate it. That was just perfect. Now it is completely clear. Is that possible to have both in our research? I mean, what if we choose an inductive approach and then when we go forward make some assumptions to answer research questions?

You cannot start with inductive and then switch to deductive — it must be one or the other. Great work and explanation and also the researcher herself is very energetic and motivated to help others… world is because of people like you. You can look this up yourself, through your library and learning resources at your institution…. Dear Deborah, Thank you for the precise explanation of inductive and deductive approaches.

When analysing data in a qualitative study, could you use both inductive and deductive methods as a triangulation technique? Hi Irene, a mixed methods study might involve both a quantitative method — e. But the overall approach would still be inductive as the quantitative element normally shapes the qualitative and the overall aim would still be to gain in-depth understandings rather than generalise findings.

Mixed methods does as you say, create academic rigour through triangulation. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.

Learn how your comment data is processed. Deborah Gabriel Research Guides March 17, July 5, deductive research , doctoral research , grounded theory , inductive research , qualitative research , research approcahes , research methods Comments.

Has this post helped you? If so then please leave a comment! Methods and methodology Deborah Gabriel Pingback: Thanks — Chantal Reply thank you so much for the information. Reply Deborah, thanks for this elaboration.

Thanks Reply Deductive research is more aimed towards testing a hypothesis and therefore is an approach more suited to working with quantitative data. Reply Dear Deborah, it has been very long time since you posted this article.

Reply Thanks so much Reply Thank u for the information, it really helps me. Reply Exactly, your work is simple and clear, that there are two research approaches, Inductive and deductive. This is how we share knowledge,and you become more knowledgable Reply Thank you Lambawi, I am glad that these posts are proving useful. Reply This has been helpful. Reply Thank you ever so much for making it simple and easily understandable. Best wishes Molla Reply The explanation is simple and easy to understand it has helped to a lot thank you Reply very helpful and explained simply.

Reply Excellent presentation please! Thank you Reply Thanks; this has been helpful in preparation for my forthcoming exams Reply This is fantastic, I have greatly beneffitted from this straight forward illustration Reply Thanks…i will benifited to read this Reply Thanks for your help.

This is another deductive argument, although you may spot some potential for premise 1 to be untrue. Here, you might need to revert to inductive reasoning.

But you can imagine a rare case where George is possibly a female name. Here we see the major weakness in deductive reasoning, a trap into which a scientist should not fall.

Deductive reasoning relies heavily upon the initial premises being correct. If one or more premises are incorrect, the argument is invalid and necessarily unsound.

Certain philosophers have even argued that deductive reasoning itself is an unattainable ideal, and that all scientific deduction is inevitably induction. Many branches of applied science work around this, by assigning probabilities to events and outcomes. Whilst not a strict application of the scientific method, it is useful where incorrect deductions could be devastating. For example, weather forecasting is an area where deductive reasoning probabilities are often used.

A meteorologist will look at the data, and using their skill and judgment, decide upon the likely weather for that day. They are aware that a certain pattern of initial conditions frequently leads to a certain weather type. However, they will never say that it is definitely going to rain, because the weather is too unpredictable, and they can never be sure that their initial assumptions are correct.

Michael Fish, the respected British meteorologist, categorically stated in that there was no chance of a hurricane hitting Southern England. Modus tollens also known as "the law of contrapositive" is a deductive rule of inference. In contrast to modus ponens , reasoning with modus tollens goes in the opposite direction to that of the conditional. The general expression for modus tollens is the following:. The law of syllogism takes two conditional statements and forms a conclusion by combining the hypothesis of one statement with the conclusion of another.

Here is the general form:. We deduced the final statement by combining the hypothesis of the first statement with the conclusion of the second statement.

We also allow that this could be a false statement. This is an example of the transitive property in mathematics. Another example is the transitive property of equality which can be stated in this form:.

Deductive arguments are evaluated in terms of their validity and soundness. In other words, the conclusion must be true if the premises are true. It is possible to have a deductive argument that is logically valid but is not sound. Fallacious arguments often take that form. In other words, it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. False generalizations — such as "Everyone who eats carrots is a quarterback" — are often used to make unsound arguments.

The fact that there are some people who eat carrots but are not quarterbacks proves the flaw of the argument. In this example, the first statement uses categorical reasoning , saying that all carrot-eaters are definitely quarterbacks. This theory of deductive reasoning — also known as term logic — was developed by Aristotle , but was superseded by propositional sentential logic and predicate logic.


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A deductive approach is concerned with “developing a hypothesis (or hypotheses) based on existing theory, and then designing a research strategy to test the hypothesis”[1] It has been stated that “deductive means reasoning from the particular to the general. If a causal relationship or link.

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In logic, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches. Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach.

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A deductive, or "top-down," approach to research methodology begins with hypotheses based on existing knowledge or literature. In other words, it seeks to test an established theory. Inductive, or "bottom-up," research, by comparison, collects data and observations in order to discern a pattern. The main difference between inductive and deductive approaches to research is that whilst a deductive approach is aimed and testing theory, an inductive approach is concerned with the generation of new theory emerging from the data.

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Deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning are two different approaches to conducting scientific research. With deductive reasoning, a researcher tests a theory by collecting and examining empirical evidence to see if it is true. 3 Research Methods Research Types Deductive Approach Inductive Approach In research, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches.