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Difference Between Inductive and Deductive Research

What is Inductive Research?

❶It is so useful. Reply Dear Deborah I just want to ask you to help me with generation of theory.

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What is Deductive Research?


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.

Keep it like that so that will be our guide towards our destinations. Reply Thank-you for your academic insights. Reply Thank you for your clarification. Reply Hi, I had a question would you call process tracing technique an inductive or deductive approach? You might find this journal article useful: Reply I am very thankful for this information, madam you are just good.

Reply Hi Deborah, I have been struggling with my research methods proposal, in finding the right methodology for my study. Very useful piece of information. Reply Very impressing work, may god bless you with more mighty knowledge. Reply In fact this has been very usefull information for me in my research,. Reply Is it possible to use deductive approach in research concerning what has happened in an industry? Reply If you are seeking to test a hypothesis then yes.

Reply Thank you very much this information has been extremely helpful. Reply Thanks for that good work Deborah. Reply Please refer to the recommended reading: Reply Good work Deborah. Reply Thank you so much!!

Reply Thank you , useful explanation Reply It is a very fruitful post. Reply Dear Tamer, Your question is too hypothetical for me to offer a response. Reply This is a question of methodology — research methods must be selected based on the discipline, research questions and approach to the study. Reply Your comments are really good and easy to understand. Reply Thank u so much. Reply Thanks for the inforation Deborah. Reply 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.

Reply Dear Deborah I just want to ask you to help me with generation of theory. Steps that need to be followed Mongwai Michael Reply Thanks a lot for showing me the best way to understand the basic difference between two approaches of research.

Reply Dear Aliyu, time does not permit me to provide responses on your individual projects. Reply Beautiful stuff you are giving us Deborah. Reply I am gathering quantitative data to develop a model to represent the behavior of a material using an existing model.

Could you please kindly let me know what is my reasearch method Thanks Reply Please see my response to Aliyu on 8 November. Reply Dr, your explanation about inductive research and deductive, is meaningful to postgraduate students. Reply Very brief and well explained. Reply Thank you Dr. Gabriel, good informationl; will come back. Reply Thanks Deborah for the explanation but, i want to ask if descriptive is inductive or deductive approach?

God bless you Reply it is really good explanation thank you Reply Can I ask one question? Reply 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: Reply I've got the answers,thx. Reply It is very clear and concise.

Reply Thank you so much Deborah. Good luck with your dissertation! Reply Thank you D now I am aware of these two! Reply Deborah, your work is precise,well organized and relevant. Reply Hi Doc, thank you for making things simpler for me. Reply Thank you for the information. Reply Hi Deborah, i just went through the abductive approach which is combination of inductive and deductive Approach. Thank u all again Reply Thx for the information. Reply Hi Deborah Thank you very much for the article. Thank you Reply Hi Thuba, 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.

Reply Your explanation of concepts is succint and easily conceivable. Thank you Reply No problem — you can use the contact form and your message will go directly to my email address. Reply Thanks for differentiating the two in easy and pragmetic manner.

Reply Thank you Deborah, that was a simple, clear explanation helpful for sure. Regards, Reply I like the way you simplified everything,was really helpful for my assignment. Thank you Reply Reference it as an online source: Reply Great insight, simple and clear; I now get the difference thanks for sharing.

Reply Thanks for the very good explanation and comparison. Reply A very simple and straightforward guidance to students. Thanks Reply Dear Almaz, thank you for your feedback. Thank you once again! Reply You are definitely on point. Reply Such inspiring work. Reply I am glad to hear that. What are you studying? Reply Thanks a lot for such a good explanation, Deborah! Reply Thank you very much. It was simple to understand. It is so useful. Reply This has been troubling me for a while.

Reply Thank You so very much Deborah. Reply Hi Deborah Thanks for an intersting piece of work presented. Thanks Hakimu Reply Hi Deborah thank you for a great article. Reply Dear Amna, Welcome to the world of research — we all have to start somewhere!

Reply Thanks so much. This post was very helpful and easy to understand! Reply Hi Deborah, Thank you for the precise and helpful information.. Thank you very much! Reply Thank you for a crisp and nice post. Reply I am very beginner in research, and its really very helpful.

I now have a clear insight of the differences,,,, kudos! Reply My study is ethnographic research specifically it studies about culture, tradition and lifestyle of an ethnic groups. Reply Thank you, I feel same as most the above commentators. Reply Thanks Deborah G! Your articles have helped me a lot. Reply your article is simple to understand and please keep it up thanks. Reply Hi, It is really helpful me to get sorted these concepts in research field in simple manner.

Reply Very clear explanation about inductive and deductive appraoches in research. Reply I appreciate your clear and precise explanations, thank you. Reply That was just perfect. Reply Is that possible to have both in our research? Reply It is precise and clear. Thanks Reply Great work and explanation and also the researcher herself is very energetic and motivated to help others… world is because of people like you.

Reply You can look this up yourself, through your library and learning resources at your institution… Reply Dear Deborah, Thank you for the precise explanation of inductive and deductive approaches. Reply Hi Irene, a mixed methods study might involve both a quantitative method — e. A researcher can rely on various research methods in order to gather data for his research questions. This can be interview method or observation method , or any other. In the analytical stage, the researcher attempts to search for patterns from the data.

In the final stage of the inductive research, the researcher builds the theory using his data and the identified patterns. This highlights that in inductive research a bottom-up approach is being used. Grounded theory by Glaser and Strauss can be considered as a fine example of the inductive approach in research. This is mainly because, in Grounded theory, the focus is on creating new knowledge through a cyclic process.

A researcher who steps into the field has an open mind, unbiased, and without preconceived ideas. He derives the research problem mostly from the setting itself, and the data guides him towards the creation of a new theory. Inductive research question example: What causes air pollution the most? Deductive research is quite different from inductive research as it uses a top-down approach in opposition to the inductive research. Deductive research can be understood as a research category that includes a process of testing hypothesis in order to verify a theory.

Unlike inductive research that generates new knowledge through the creation of theories, the deductive research aims at testing a theory.

It does not attempt to find patterns in data but uses observation with the intention of validating the pattern. This is used by researchers mainly to falsify theories.


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Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach. We might begin with thinking up a theory about our topic of interest.

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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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In other words, deductive approach involves formulation of hypotheses and their subjection to testing during the research process, while inductive studies do not deal with hypotheses in any ways. Application of Deductive Approach (Deductive Reasoning) in Business Research. Hypothetico-Deductive Method There are two common ways to find answers to issues: Process of deduction (mostly used in quantitative research) Process of induction (mostly used in qualitative research) When we make a conclusion by logically generalizing from a known theory, we are said to use the deductive method (i.e. use existing theories to %(2).

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Deductive Research Approach Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. thought process and this dominates in scientific & Technological research and Development. INDUCTIVE & DEDUCTIVE RESEARCH . Deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning are two different approaches to conducting scientific research. Using deductive reasoning, a researcher tests a theory by collecting and examining empirical evidence to see if the theory is true. Using inductive reasoning, a researcher first gathers and.