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.


  1. All dogs you have met wag their tail, therefore, all dogs must wag their tail.
  2. Every time you start to watch a movie your phone rings, therefore, you watching a movie makes people call you.

Audio Pronunciation: (in·duc·tion)

Download Audio Pronunciation: induction.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: inductions
  • Deduction is the opposite of induction.
  • 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 a possibility of unfound disconfirming evidence existing.
  • 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 research method.
  • Also called:
    • inductive logic
    • inductive reasoning
  • An (noun) inductionist (verb) induces (adjective) inductive or (adjective) inductional generalization (adverb) inductionally.

Related Terms: 


Works Consulted

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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. (

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

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

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (


How to Cite the Definition of Induction

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “induction.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 20, 2019 (

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

induction. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from

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

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “induction.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 20, 2019.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“induction.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 20 May. 2019. <>.