Inductive reasoning, also known as induction, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates general propositions that are derived from specific examples. Inductive reasoning is generally conducted in four stages:
- Observation (collect facts without bias).
- Analysis (classify facts by establishing patterns of regularity).
- Inference (from the patterns, infer generalizations about the relationship between facts).
- Confirmation (test the inference through further observation).
Inductive reasoning is useful when there is limited information about a problem.
Inductive reasoning contrasts with deductive reasoning, in which specific examples are derived from general propositions.
- TC 2-33.4, at 2-8.