Types of Reasoning: Deductive and Inductive

Types of Reasoning - GMAT

In this world that’s Sherlocked, we think, ‘Hey, Holmes might crack GMAT with great scores’. Anyhow, Critical Reasoning in GMAT deals with two types of reasoning: Deductive and Inductive but we deal more with inductive reasoning than with deductive reasoning in GMAT.

Here is a table that differentiates Deductive Reasoning and Inductive Reasoning.

Deductive Reasoning Inductive Reasoning
DR is all about coming to a conclusion from one or more premises that are given in the argument. IR is reasoning that bolsters a conclusion with strong evidence/proof.
A conclusion is deduced is the absolute truth. IR deals with strengthening the probability of a conclusion.
It’s valid as long as the given statements are true. IR establishes that the probability of such a conclusion is very highly probable.
The conclusion of a deduced argument is certain. IR just says that the argument is probable.
Conclusion is certified because of the facts stated in the argument. Conclusion is probable. We weaken or strengthen arguments with IR.

Now, let’s look at some examples:

All Lions are Cats. A is a lion. Hence, A is a Cat. This is DEDUCTIVE REASONING.

There are 7 cats in my house. And there are 2 dogs. You have more cats than dogs. INDUCTIVE REASONING helps you to conclude that I like cats more than I like dogs. Now, this might be false. But the argument is based on the inference from the given statements and has a higher PROBABILITY of being valid.

These examples help showcase the difference between Inductive and Deductive Reasoning. We see that real world examples that involve reasoning are based more on inductive reasoning than on deductive reasoning. DR is black and white. There is no shade of grey in between. Problems are akin to mathematical structures. 2 plus 2 is always 4. There is no denying that in any case. But unlike that, quite often, there is scope for an inducted conclusion to be wrong. In the world of deductive reasoning though, there is no scope for such discrepancies.

GMAT is for a mature audience that wants to enter B-schools and tackle real world issues. So, quite obviously, problems presented in the form of GMAT CR questions require inductive reasoning skills.

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