Skip Nav

What Is an Inductive Research Approach?

Inductive Approaches and Some Examples

❶On the other hand.

What Is Systematic Observation in Psychology?

What Are Independent Groups in Psychology?
Deductive Approaches and Some Examples

The more data that scientists who use an inductive research method collect, the more likely they are to be able to draw valuable conclusions from it. What Is an Inductive Research Approach? Quick Answer An inductive research approach is one that begins with the final stages of scientific research, typically observation, and works backward to form a hypothesis.

What Is Systematic Observation in Psychology? What Is the Victim Precipitation Theory? Full Answer Inductive reasoning is common among the social sciences whereas deductive research is more common in the natural sciences. Learn more about Psychology.

In some cases, researchers will plan for their research to include multiple components, one inductive and the other deductive. In other cases, a researcher might begin a study with the plan to only conduct either inductive or deductive research, but then he or she discovers along the way that the other approach is needed to help illuminate findings.

Here is an example of each such case. In the case of my collaborative research on sexual harassment, we began the study knowing that we would like to take both a deductive and an inductive approach in our work. We therefore administered a quantitative survey, the responses to which we could analyze in order to test hypotheses, and also conducted qualitative interviews with a number of the survey participants.

The survey data were well suited to a deductive approach; we could analyze those data to test hypotheses that were generated based on theories of harassment. The interview data were well suited to an inductive approach; we looked for patterns across the interviews and then tried to make sense of those patterns by theorizing about them. Sexual harassment as a gendered expression of power.

American Sociological Review, 69 , 64— We then tested our hypotheses by analyzing the survey data. In general, we found support for the theory that posited that the current gender system, in which heteronormative men wield the most power in the workplace, explained workplace sexual harassment—not just of adult women but of younger women and men as well.

Presented at the meetings of the American Sociological Association. Researchers may not always set out to employ both approaches in their work but sometimes find that their use of one approach leads them to the other.

Investigating the social world: The process and practice of research. The specific deterrent effects of arrest for domestic assault. American Sociological Review, 49 , — Specifically, Sherman and Berk hypothesized that deterrence theory would provide a better explanation of the effects of arresting accused batterers than labeling theory. Deterrence theory predicts that arresting an accused spouse batterer will reduce future incidents of violence.

Conversely, labeling theory predicts that arresting accused spouse batterers will increase future incidents. Sherman and Berk found, after conducting an experiment with the help of local police in one city, that arrest did in fact deter future incidents of violence, thus supporting their hypothesis that deterrence theory would better predict the effect of arrest. The deterrent effect of arrest in incidents of domestic violence: A Bayesian analysis of four field experiments.

American Sociological Review, 57 , —; Pate, A. Formal and informal deterrents to domestic violence: The Dade county spouse assault experiment. American Sociological Review, 57 , —; Sherman, L. Crime, punishment, and stake in conformity: Legal and informal control of domestic violence. American Sociological Review, 57 , — Results from these follow-up studies were mixed. In some cases, arrest deterred future incidents of violence.

In other cases, it did not. Many thanks to you, I really appreciate u on ur information provided basically on theories and approaches to understanding research. Thank you so much!! The distinction between the two approaches is clear and concise. Most other websites tend to go into long discussions without really getting to the point.

This was very helpful. It is a very fruitful post. I would like to ask if the objective of my research is to develop an extended process from the existing processes. And I am going to use qualitative and quantitative research methods, because my research phenomenon requires to study the individual meanings and perceptions and then uses the findings from the qualitative study and also the theoretical study as inputs for the quantitative study.

So, which approach to follow in this case? Dear Tamer, Your question is too hypothetical for me to offer a response. But in any event, you are the only one who can decide whether an inductive or deductive approach is appropriate for your research project. This is where methodology comes in — which is about determining what research methods will be most effective in answering your research questions and which are in sync with your approach e.

What do you think about the approach with quantitative analyses that start with data to generate theories? Typically data mining techniques fit into my example. This is a question of methodology — research methods must be selected based on the discipline, research questions and approach to the study. For example, If you are seeking to ascertain how many people read the news on their smartphones then a quantitiative method is most appropriate.

On the other hand. Which would be more appropriate qualitative or quantitative? In your own study, secondary sources would appear under a Literature Review. However, if you are doing a dissertation, say for an undergraduate degree where you are not undertaking primary research then inductive or deductive approaches are not applicable.

I hope this clarifies. Your comments are really good and easy to understand. Hope to contact you for my project. However my question is if my research is about answering specific research questions in a qualitative research. Am I to use the inductive or the deductive or the mixture of the two? This is because inductive aims to find new theories emerging from the data whereas deductive is centred on testing a hypothesis rather than exploring research questions.

Points of distinction top notch. Straight to the point. Keep up the good work. I found this site while searching the difference between the two on Google. Thank you for the input. I have developed 4 research questions, 3 are on 'what's and 1 'why'. The what is because my sample of analysis is multimodal text. Will my study still fall under qualitative? Thank you in advance, Deborah. I appreciate it very much.

Hi Zilla, It is hard to provide a definitive answer without knowing what your research questions are although time does not permit me to provide individual responses. You say that your sample is multimodal text — that is simply text plus media such as videos, pictures etc. My question to you is whether this multimodal text has been generated from primary research — i. If that is the case then I would presume that this would be a qualitative research project that would lend itself to an inductive approach,since I cannot imagine that you would be able to work with a very large sample of multimodal text.

Dear Deborah I just want to ask you to help me with generation of theory. Steps that need to be followed. Thanks a lot for showing me the best way to understand the basic difference between two approaches of research. Dear Aliyu, time does not permit me to provide responses on your individual projects.

Therefore, my aim is to equip you with the understanding of different approaches so that you have both the confidence and competence to make appropriate decisions on the most suitable methodological approaches to your research.

I am gathering quantitative data to develop a model to represent the behavior of a material using an existing model. I subsequently used this model to simulate the material behavior with a computer program. Could you please kindly let me know what is my reasearch method Thanks. Dr, your explanation about inductive research and deductive, is meaningful to postgraduate students.

What is your suggestion on my research topic: Today the same question appeared and I used your explanation as my response to the question. May I ask you question? Focus on what your research objectives are and then choose the approach that will be most efefctive in meeting these objectives.

Thanks Deborah for the explanation but, i want to ask if descriptive is inductive or deductive approach? Can I ask one question? I am going to research how technology is changing the hotel industry particularly at the hotel front desk so is that inductive or deductive approach? I believe deductive approach because the aim of my research is to investigate current used technology at hotel front desk.

So what do you think please let me know Thank you very much indeed. 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!


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Inductive approach, also known in inductive reasoning, starts with the observations and theories are proposed towards the end of the research .

Privacy FAQs

Inductive approaches are generally associated with qualitative research, whilst deductive approaches are more commonly associated with quantitative research. However, there are no set rules and some qualitative studies may have a deductive orientation.

About Our Ads

An inductive research approach is one that begins with the final stages of scientific research, typically observation, and works backward to form a hypothesis. It is the opposite of deductive research. 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.

Cookie Info

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. This is “Inductive or Deductive? Two Different Approaches”, Inductive or Deductive? Two Different Approaches. Learning Objectives. Describe the inductive approach to research, and provide examples of inductive research. Describe the deductive approach to research, and provide examples of deductive research.