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Both inductive and deductive reasoning are used in every day life and in the scientific world and help humankind make sense or make facts of the world around them. To estimate the population of a town in upcoming years, one of the town workers collected populations from past years and made this table.
A new acquired knowledge or hypothesis may arise that all Southern California sharks attack people. Or if we flip it — one could deduct from the generalized fact that if all apples are fruit and all fruits grow on trees, then all apples grow on trees. How do we go about testing or generating hypotheses about different topics?
On a scientific level, knowledge and hypotheses are forever being generated or tested.
He or she determines that the sum of the three angles is 180° regardless of the triangle.
It would be very tempting to make an assumption about the sum of the interior angles of a triangle.
This type of strategy to testing a hypothesis is deductive reasoning; it is a top down approach to reasoning, where one starts with a general case and deduces specific instances, which is also known as generalizing.
Deductive reasoning involves making conclusions based on previously known facts.
Valid deductions are best produced by experts in a particular subject or field of study.
For example, a biologist versus a undergraduate biology student would most likely make better deductions about a crystal’s color in relation to its structure, because the expert is more knowledgeable in that field and can make more valid deductions to test a generalization.
Using a scenically-induced hypothesis like such, gravity as the cause is able to be tested.
Deductive reasoning is based on a more objective scientific reasoning.