In Short

Inductive reasoning uses specific information that has been observed or experienced, and draws general conclusions about it. To make those conclusions, it relies on either (or both) past experience and common sense. Because the conclusions can only state what is likely or probable, there is a greater chance of error with inductive reasoning as opposed to deductive reasoning. In the next lesson, you will learn about specific ways in which inductive reasoning goes wrong.

Skill Building Until Next Time

You are always drawing conclusions from your observations. Pay attention to this inductive reasoning and evaluate your skills. Are you using common sense and/or past experience? Have you noticed a key difference, or compared two similar events? Become a better user of inductive reasoning by being aware of when and how you use it.

Misusing Inductive Reasoning— Logical Fallacies


An inductive fallacy looks like an argument, but it either has two premises that do not provide enough support for the conclusion, or a conclusion that does not fit the premises. This lesson helps you spot them so you are not taken in by their faulty logic.

An inductive conclusion is only as good as the quantity and quality of its premises. There are a number of ways in which to create a strong inductive argument, and just as many ways to create a weak one. The premises must contain enough evidence or the conclusion will be what is known as a hasty generalization. If you claim cause and effect and there is not enough evidence, you create a chicken and egg fallacy. If the conclusion you draw does not fit the facts, it is a fallacy known as post hoc, ergo propter hoc. By focusing on parts of a whole and drawing a conclusion based only on those parts, you create a composition fallacy.

It is important to understand how these fallacies work so you can avoid them in your own arguments and recognize them when they are used by others.

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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