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Definitions of Induction

  1. (noun) A form of logical reasoning that derives general conclusions from a set of specific facts.
  2. (noun) A research method that uses data such as observations to create generalizations.
  3. (noun) Moving from the particular to the general.

Induction Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: in·duc·tion

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /in-dUHk-shuhn/
  • British English – /in-dUHk-shuhn/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ɪnˈdʌkʃən/
  • British English – /ɪnˈdʌkʃən/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: inductions
  • Induction is the opposite of deduction.
  • The more confirming evidence collected through experiments or observations increases the probability that a theory is true, however it does not guarantee that the conclusion is true because there is always the possibility that disconfirming evidence exists and will be discovered.
  • Induction does not explain why a phenomenon exists, only that it does exist. For example:
    • All dogs you have met wag their tail, therefore, all dogs must wag their tail.
    • Every time you start to watch a movie your phone rings, therefore, you watching a movie makes people call you.
  • Induction is typically used in qualitative research such as ethnography or life history.
  • The inductive model refers to the process of induction used as a research method.
  • Also called:
    • inductive logic
    • inductive reasoning
  • An (noun) inductionist (verb) induces (adjective) inductive or (adjective) inductional generalization (adverb) inductionally.

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Additional Information

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Works Consulted

Brinkerhoff, David, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Stewart, Paul, and Johan Zaaiman, eds. 2015. Sociology: A Concise South African Introduction. Cape Town: Juta.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Cite the Definition of Induction

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “induction.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 18, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/induction/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

induction. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/induction/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “induction.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 18, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/induction/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“induction.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 18 Jul. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/induction/>.