More information is available on this project's attribution page. For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. You can browse or download additional books there. Theories structure and inform sociological research. So, too, does research structure and inform theory. The reciprocal relationship between theory and research often becomes evident to students new to these topics when they consider the relationships between theory and research in inductive and deductive approaches to research.
In both cases, theory is crucial. But the relationship between theory and research differs for each approach. Inductive and deductive approaches to research are quite different, but they can also be complementary. In an inductive approach Collect data, analyze patterns in the data, and then theorize from the data. At this stage, the researcher looks for patterns in the data, working to develop a theory that could explain those patterns. Thus when researchers take an inductive approach, they start with a set of observations and then they move from those particular experiences to a more general set of propositions about those experiences.
In other words, they move from data to theory, or from the specific to the general. More than just a punctuation mark: How boys and young men learn about menstruation.
Journal of Family Issues, 32 , — To understand this process, Allen and her colleagues analyzed the written narratives of 23 young men in which the men described how they learned about menstruation, what they thought of it when they first learned about it, and what they think of it now.
Enhancing empowerment and leadership among homeless youth in agency and community settings: A grounded theory approach. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 28 , 1— The authors analyzed data from focus groups with 20 young people at a homeless shelter. From these data they developed a set of recommendations for those interested in applied interventions that serve homeless youth. The researchers also developed hypotheses for people who might wish to conduct further investigation of the topic.
Though Ferguson and her colleagues did not test the hypotheses that they developed from their analysis, their study ends where most deductive investigations begin: Researchers taking a deductive approach Develop hypotheses based on some theory or theories, collect data that can be used to test the hypotheses, and assess whether the data collected support the hypotheses.
They start with a social theory that they find compelling and then test its implications with data. That is, they move from a more general level to a more specific one.
A deductive approach to research is the one that people typically associate with scientific investigation. The researcher studies what others have done, reads existing theories of whatever phenomenon he or she is studying, and then tests hypotheses that emerge from those theories.
While not all researchers follow a deductive approach, as you have seen in the preceding discussion, many do, and there are a number of excellent recent examples of deductive research.
Contemporary hate crimes, law enforcement, and the legacy of racial violence. American Sociological Review, 74 , — The authors developed their hypothesis from their reading of prior research and theories on the topic. You say that your sample is multimodal text — that is simply text plus media such as videos, pictures etc.
My question to you is whether this multimodal text has been generated from primary research — i. If that is the case then I would presume that this would be a qualitative research project that would lend itself to an inductive approach,since I cannot imagine that you would be able to work with a very large sample of multimodal text.
Dear Deborah I just want to ask you to help me with generation of theory. Steps that need to be followed. Thanks a lot for showing me the best way to understand the basic difference between two approaches of research. Dear Aliyu, time does not permit me to provide responses on your individual projects. Therefore, my aim is to equip you with the understanding of different approaches so that you have both the confidence and competence to make appropriate decisions on the most suitable methodological approaches to your research.
I am gathering quantitative data to develop a model to represent the behavior of a material using an existing model. I subsequently used this model to simulate the material behavior with a computer program. Could you please kindly let me know what is my reasearch method Thanks. Dr, your explanation about inductive research and deductive, is meaningful to postgraduate students. What is your suggestion on my research topic: Today the same question appeared and I used your explanation as my response to the question.
May I ask you question? Focus on what your research objectives are and then choose the approach that will be most efefctive in meeting these objectives. Thanks Deborah for the explanation but, i want to ask if descriptive is inductive or deductive approach? Can I ask one question? I am going to research how technology is changing the hotel industry particularly at the hotel front desk so is that inductive or deductive approach? I believe deductive approach because the aim of my research is to investigate current used technology at hotel front desk.
So what do you think please let me know Thank you very much indeed. Please refer to my post on conceptual frameworks to take you through the key steps in developing a research project — you will find your answer there: Thank you so much Deborah.
I have found the book very hard to understand especially when I'm wrtiting up the methodology section as I have to talk about deductive and inductive approaches. You have simplified it and explained it well.
Also you have made it so so easy to understand. Everyone should be reading this. Thank you so so, so much. Deborah, your work is precise,well organized and relevant. Hi Doc, thank you for making things simpler for me.
I will always be incontact with your website. Hi Deborah, i just went through the abductive approach which is combination of inductive and deductive Approach.
But after going through the conversation in this page helped me a lot. Thank u very much. Title is Knowledge and Learning Model among effective repatriation. Thank u all again. Hi Deborah Thank you very much for the article. My question is what approach am i supposed to take if i am doing a research that is both qualitative and quantitative.
I am doing research on the feasibility of establishing renewable energy systems in a developing country. I am using a simulation software to generate a model to analyse the technical and economic data Quantitative but i have to use interviews to capture social and polical views from industry experts Qualitative.
So which approach is best in such a scenario? In a mixed methods study, the quanitiative dimension of the study usually functions to capture preliminary data, with the qualitative dimension being the primary method that answers the research questions. In any case, in a mixed methods study you must peform both quantitative and qualitative data analysis — separately.
In reference to your specifc study you need to refer back to your reearch questions and the aims and objectives of your study. Is your primary objective to develop a model for a renewable energy system or is it to determine whether industry experts see the viability of the model? If it is the latter then the approach should be inductive. I would advise you to consult your supervisor or someone in your discipline, as I am not an engineer. Your explanation of concepts is succint and easily conceivable.
No problem — you can use the contact form and your message will go directly to my email address. Thank you Deborah, that was a simple, clear explanation helpful for sure.
I like the way you simplified everything,was really helpful for my assignment. Inductive and deductive approaches to research. However it seems short. Dear Almaz, thank you for your feedback. Therefore, I am taking the Western literature outcomes and applying these in UAE context to see the results. Will this research be treated as "Deductive' or "Inductive"? Should I choose 'Quantitative" or "Qualitative' approach?
Wishing you all the best. So what is grounded theory? This has been troubling me for a while. It is often said that the interpretive paradigm typically goes with inductive approaches and methods involving observation, interviews and research into archives.
But then if concepts are to emerge from the data without theoretical preconceptions, how come it is often said that the research design, choice of case studies, and initial coding in thematic analysis can be theory driven?
Or, how does theory coming before the research design fit with an inductive approach? In my experience so far authors seem to evade this point. Thank You so very much Deborah. I really got to uncover what puzzled me on deductive versus inductive approaches. It was very simple and useful.
It is very useful for my dissertation. If I want to conduct a research to find those elements in a bank operation. Hi Deborah, Thank you for a great article! It made it very clear the differenece between deductive and inductive.
I'd like to ask you the following: In answer to your question, I think maybe you are confusing research questions with hypotheses. Hi Deborah Thanks for an intersting piece of work presented. Am kindly inquiring how i can get along with literature review and conceptual framemework on the topic 'IDPs and Solid Waste Management' and objectives; exploring everyday practice around solid waste management; finding out how social networks move and merge into new spaces for waste management and establish connections between waste management and social lfestyle.
Hi Deborah thank you for a great article. Dear Amna, Welcome to the world of research — we all have to start somewhere! If you're new to social research I would recommend you join the Social Research Association SRA who provide training and a wealth of resources for researchers. With regards to theory — unless you are researching new phenomena that has never been researched before or are developing a completely new approach unlikely you will not be creating 'new' theory with your research project.
You will be using existing theory in your approach and embed theoretical perspectives into your methodology. You will also likely use relevant theories when analysing your data. However, before you think about theory you need to develop your methodology — see my other post: Hi Deborah, Thank you for the precise and helpful information..
I need your help as I feel a little bit confused. I used the conceptual framework from other previous conducted study. It was conducted in quantitative manner.
If i used the conceptual framework as my guidance for my literature review and interview question construction, is that okay if i do not use inductive for the case study because i do not build a new theory. If i just compare and argue with the previous finding and the model used, is it consider as deductive approach in case study? What do you think? It may require a little bit of referencing. Furthermore, adding citation line below will be useful for academic use.
My study is ethnographic research specifically it studies about culture, tradition and lifestyle of an ethnic groups. I think my research is inductive, is it right? Thank you, I feel same as most the above commentators.
Very well written — written in a way that I who for the first time heard of these two types of researcher methods, felt like I got a gist of what they are and how they are different. Hi, It is really helpful me to get sorted these concepts in research field in simple manner. Thanks for that and really appreciate it. That was just perfect. Now it is completely clear. Is that possible to have both in our research? I mean, what if we choose an inductive approach and then when we go forward make some assumptions to answer research questions?
You cannot start with inductive and then switch to deductive — it must be one or the other. Great work and explanation and also the researcher herself is very energetic and motivated to help others… world is because of people like you. You can look this up yourself, through your library and learning resources at your institution…. Dear Deborah, Thank you for the precise explanation of inductive and deductive approaches. When analysing data in a qualitative study, could you use both inductive and deductive methods as a triangulation technique?
Hi Irene, a mixed methods study might involve both a quantitative method — e. Quick Answer An inductive research approach is one that begins with the final stages of scientific research, typically observation, and works backward to form a hypothesis.
What Is Systematic Observation in Psychology? What Is the Victim Precipitation Theory? Full Answer Inductive reasoning is common among the social sciences whereas deductive research is more common in the natural sciences.
Learn more about Psychology. What Is the Child-Centered Approach? The child-centered approach is an application within the field of child development that allows the child to make their own choices and establish their own You May Also Like Q:
Inductive Approach (Inductive Reasoning) Inductive approach, also known in inductive reasoning, starts with the observations and theories are proposed towards the end of .
In logic, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches. Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach.
The main difference between inductive and deductive approaches to research is that whilst a deductive approach is aimed and testing theory, an inductive approach is concerned with the generation of new theory emerging from the data. Deductive research aims to test an existing theory while inductive research aims to generate new theories from observed data. Deductive research works from the more general to the more specific, and inductive research works from more specific observations to more general theories. Deductive.
Deductive Vs. Inductive Induction is usually described as moving from the specific to the general, while deduction begins with the general and ends with the specific. Arguments based on laws, rules and accepted principles are generally used for Deductive Reasoning. Observations tend to be used for Inductive Arguments. Describe the inductive approach to research, and provide examples of inductive research. Describe the deductive approach to research, and provide examples of deductive research. Describe the ways that inductive and deductive approaches may be complementary.