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induction

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.

Examples of Induction

  • 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 Pronunciation

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.
  • 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.

Additional Information

Related Terms


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 August 22, 2019 (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 August 22, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/induction/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“induction.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 22 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/induction/>.