In the process of studying, induction and deduction can be considered separately. However, in reality, all the most critical and extensive scientific research requires both types of reasoning. Induction and deduction are two essential elements of a cognitive process. The interaction of these types of reasoning is significant in terms of particular sciences, such as physics, biology, and psychology, since the fundamental methods in research are observation and experiment. Nevertheless, these approaches can be applied in all academic subject areas. The importance of inductive and deductive reasoning for college students should be analyzed as it directly supports the process of obtaining new knowledge and critical thinking in general.
The deduction is a logically correct conclusion based on knowledge or confirmed hypotheses. The deduction aims to test hypotheses being general statements and then predict the consequences – specifics. It is related to the structure of an argument, helping to combine the data available accurately. For instance, in case a person recognizes a reasoning failure, this indicates that the author of the statement structured it incorrectly and made a wrong conclusion, the so-called formal fallacy (Warren, 368). Deductive reasoning appears from logical certainty; the correct use of the logic guarantees the preservation of the inference accuracy; therefore, this reasoning is sometimes called truth-preserving.
Concerning benefits for college students, deductive reasoning is required while working on an essay or research project. The most decisive point is carefully structuring the arguments and avoiding an incorrect and unreasonable conclusion. For instance, using deduction, the statement is created without unnecessary information (Warren 368). Likewise, evaluating someone else’s assumption while reading course materials, articles, and lectures helps determine whether the argument’s structure is logical or it contains some inaccuracies (Warren 368). Moreover, while conducting scientific research, an experiment is based on deductive reasoning, preceded by the formulation of a scientific hypothesis. It follows the theoretical provisions of the concept adopted by the researcher in the study.
Furthermore, deductive reasoning contributes to the intellectual development of college students. The study provided by Warren argues that evaluation activities that require deduction enhance students’ problem-solving skills (369). Inferences drawn from deductive reasoning can be considered valid if their premises are true; in the other case, the conclusion may be logical but incorrect. Other advantages of the deductive method for students relate to learning foreign languages. Grammar rules can be explained with the implementation of such an approach; consequently, it provides more time to apply them in practice (Farahani 87). Besides, the deductive method recognizes the intelligence and maturity of students and the purpose of cognitive processes in learning (Farahani 86). It meets the students’ expectations of the learning process, especially being helpful for analytic learners (Farahani 87). With regard to teachers, deductive reasoning allows them to interpret different aspects of the language during the lesson. It contributes to anticipating what questions may arise before the class.
Inductive reasoning is a process of reasoning that concludes from specific to general. It combines particular premises not strictly according to logic but rather factual, psychological, or mathematical representations. The primary purpose of inductive inferences in the process of cognition is a generalization, namely obtaining comprehensive judgments (Wu and Gyöngyvér 91). In terms of their content and cognitive significance, these conclusions can vary from the generalizations of everyday practice to empirical ones in research (Wu and Gyöngyvér 100). The history of science reveals that many discoveries in physics in the field of electricity, magnetism, and optics were made on the basis of inductive generalization of empirical data (Warren 375). Overall, multiple hypotheses in modern science rely on inductive reasoning.
Concerning college students, inductive reasoning is vital as a deduction. According to Wu and Gyöngyvér, similarities or differences enable students to discover regularities (94). Inductive reasoning can be applied in the process of solving general problems (Wu and Gyöngyvér 101). According to Buckley et al., students make conclusions according to the information stored in the working memory (74). Thus, inductive reasoning is advantageous as “by allowing for information to be retrieved, stored, generated, represented, manipulated and inferred, it can provide the necessary mental operations presented in an established problem-solving framework” (Buckley et al. 74). Therefore, inductive reasoning is a critical aspect of college students’ education process.
To sum up, both types of reasoning benefit college students’ learning performance. Inductive reasoning is considered crucial in the scientific study; students can use it to form hypotheses and theories. Referring to deductive reasoning, allows them to apply theories to specific situations. Deductive reasoning is widely used in all areas of scientific knowledge, considering the development of empirical data and the transition from empirical to theory. If the conclusion is obtained as a result of inductive reasoning, then deduction complements the induction, expanding the amount of knowledge gained. In general, at the initial stage of scientific research, induction prevails; in the development and substantiation of scientific knowledge, deductive reasoning becomes more critical and applicatory. Thus, these two approaches to scientific knowledge are indistinguishably linked and complement each other.
Buckley, Jeffrey, et al. “Visualization, inductive reasoning, and memory span as components of fluid intelligence: Implications for technology education.” International Journal of Educational Research vol. 90, 2018, pp. 64-77.
Farahani, Mehrdad Vasheghani. “An investigation into inductive and deductive methods in teaching grammar to German EFL learners: A comparative study.” Global Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, vol. 8, no. 2, 2018, pp. 76-91.
Warren, Aaron R. “Quantitative critical thinking: Student activities using Bayesian updating.” American Journal of Physics, vol. 86, no. 5, 2018, pp. 368-380.
Wu, Hao, and Gyöngyvér Molnár. “Interactive problem solving: Assessment and relations to combinatorial and inductive reasoning.” Journal of Psychological & Educational Research, vol. 26, no. 1, 2018, pp. 90-105.