Browse Definitions :
Definition

# inductive reasoning

Inductive reasoning is a logical process in which multiple premises, all believed true or found true most of the time, are combined to obtain a specific conclusion.

Inductive reasoning is often used in applications that involve prediction, forecasting, or behavior. Here is an example:

• Every tornado I have ever seen in the United States rotated counterclockwise, and I have seen dozens of them.
• We see a tornado in the distance, and we are in the United States.
• I conclude that the tornado we see right now must be rotating counterclockwise.

A meteorologist will tell you that in the United States (which lies in the northern hemisphere), most tornadoes rotate counterclockwise, but not all of them do. Therefore, the conclusion is probably true, but not necessarily true. Inductive reasoning is, unlike deductive reasoning, not logically rigorous. Imperfection can exist and inaccurate conclusions can occur, however rare; in deductive reasoning the conclusions are mathematically certain.

Inductive reasoning is sometimes confused with mathematical induction, an entirely different process. Mathematical induction is a form of deductive reasoning, in which logical certainties are "daisy chained" to derive a general conclusion about an infinite number of objects or situations.

This was last updated in October 2020

• What is network scanning? How to, types and best practices

Network scanning is a procedure for identifying active devices on a network by employing a feature or features in the network ...

• What is wavelength?

Wavelength is the distance between identical points, or adjacent crests, in the adjacent cycles of a waveform signal propagated ...

• subnet (subnetwork)

A subnet, or subnetwork, is a segmented piece of a larger network. More specifically, subnets are a logical partition of an IP ...

• What is payroll software?

Payroll software automates the process of paying salaried, hourly and contingent employees.

• organizational network analysis (ONA)

Organizational network analysis (ONA) is a quantitative method for modeling and analyzing how communications, information, ...

• HireVue

HireVue is an enterprise video interviewing technology provider of a platform that lets recruiters and hiring managers screen ...

Close