Definitions of Induction
- (noun) A form of logical reasoning that derives general conclusions from a set of specific facts.
- (noun) A research method that uses data such as observations to create generalizations.
- (noun) Moving from the particular to the general.
- American English – /in-dUHk-shuhn/
- British English – /in-dUHk-shuhn/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ɪnˈdʌkʃən/
- British English – /ɪnˈdʌkʃən/
- 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.
- Qualitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Quantitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “induction” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
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).
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “induction.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved September 22, 2020 (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 September 22, 2020. https://sociologydictionary.org/induction/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“induction.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 22 Sep. 2020. <https://sociologydictionary.org/induction/>.