This content was accessible as of December 29, , and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book. Normally, the author and publisher would be credited here. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed.
Additionally, per the publisher's request, their name has been removed in some passages. 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.
Grounded theory is not an approach to be used lightly. It requires extensive and repeated sifting through the data and analysing and re-analysing multiple times in order to identify new theory. It is an approach best suited to research projects where there the phenomena to be investigated has not been previously explored.
The most important point to bear in mind when considering whether to use an inductive or deductive approach is firstly the purpose of your research; and secondly the methods that are best suited to either test a hypothesis, explore a new or emerging area within the discipline, or to answer specific research questions.
Using Conceptual Frameworks in Qualitative Research. Methods and methodology Deborah Gabriel. Hi, yes the explanation was helpful because it was simple to read and pretty much, straight to the point. It has given me a brief understanding for what I needs. Deborah, thanks for this elaboration. Deductive research is more aimed towards testing a hypothesis and therefore is an approach more suited to working with quantitative data.
The process normally involves reproducing a previous study and seeing if the same results are produced. This does not lend itself to generating new theories since that is not the object of the research. Between inductive and deductive approaches there is also a third approach which I will write a post on shortly — abdductive. Dear Deborah, it has been very long time since you posted this article. However, I can testify that it is very helpful for a novis reseracher like me.
Deborah, thank you for given info, but i was in confusion reg, differences between deductive, inductive, abductive and new one Hypothetico-deductive approaches.
Can it be possible to email the differences, its applications, tools used and scientific nature, to build a theory using quantitative survey method. My email Id is: Thanking you awaiting for your mail soon. You cannot take short cuts by by asking someone me to simply provide you with ready answers to your queries — especially when I do not have the time to do so! Exactly, your work is simple and clear, that there are two research approaches, Inductive and deductive.
Qualitative and Quantative approaches You gave clear differences in a balance, simple to understand, I suppose you are a teacher by profession.
This is how we share knowledge,and you become more knowledgable. Thank you Lambawi, I am glad that these posts are proving useful. I will endeavour to add some more in the coming weeks! Thank you very much for sharing knowledge with me. It really much helpful while preparing my college exam. Thank you ever so much for making it simple and easily understandable.
Would love to see more posts. Thanks; this has been helpful in preparation for my forthcoming exams. Hi, I had a question would you call process tracing technique an inductive or deductive approach? Hope you can help me with the same.
Process tracing is a qualitative analytical tool and therefore inductive rather than deductive, since its purpose is to identify new phenomena.
You might find this journal article useful:. Preparing for my Research Methods exams and I'm grateful for your explanations. This is a full lecture made simple. Thank you very much. I am very thankful for this information, madam you are just good. If you are believer, allow me to say, May God bless you with more knowledge and good health. I am currently doing Btech in forensic with Unisa would you be so kind and help with this question below and may I use your services while Iam doing this degree Please.
Deductive, which is not exploratory but designed to test a hypothesis. So this is unlike to be case study research but a quantitative study. Hi Deborah, I have been struggling with my research methods proposal, in finding the right methodology for my study. This is the only explanation out of all the books that I have read which really enables me to truly understand the meaning of Grounded Theory for which you describe as an inductive. I just would like to say thank you for your explanation as this has helped me in a way, which I thought I would never get.
In fact this has been very usefull information for me in my research,. It's very clear and easy to understand looking at the choice of language ,etc God bless you!! Is it possible to use deductive approach in research concerning what has happened in an industry? Thank you very much this information has been extremely helpful. I can now progress with my dissertation. Thanks for that good work Deborah. It has taken me quite a short time to read and understand. Kindly please help me understand what am required to write in this case where my teacher gave me this question: Please refer to the recommended reading: Many thanks to you, I really appreciate u on ur information provided basically on theories and approaches to understanding research.
Thank you so much!! The distinction between the two approaches is clear and concise. Most other websites tend to go into long discussions without really getting to the point. This was very helpful. It is a very fruitful post. I would like to ask if the objective of my research is to develop an extended process from the existing processes.
And I am going to use qualitative and quantitative research methods, because my research phenomenon requires to study the individual meanings and perceptions and then uses the findings from the qualitative study and also the theoretical study as inputs for the quantitative study. So, which approach to follow in this case? Dear Tamer, Your question is too hypothetical for me to offer a response. But in any event, you are the only one who can decide whether an inductive or deductive approach is appropriate for your research project.
This is where methodology comes in — which is about determining what research methods will be most effective in answering your research questions and which are in sync with your approach e. What do you think about the approach with quantitative analyses that start with data to generate theories? Typically data mining techniques fit into my example. This is a question of methodology — research methods must be selected based on the discipline, research questions and approach to the study.
For example, If you are seeking to ascertain how many people read the news on their smartphones then a quantitiative method is most appropriate. On the other hand. Which would be more appropriate qualitative or quantitative? In your own study, secondary sources would appear under a Literature Review.
However, if you are doing a dissertation, say for an undergraduate degree where you are not undertaking primary research then inductive or deductive approaches are not applicable.
I hope this clarifies. Your comments are really good and easy to understand. Hope to contact you for my project. However my question is if my research is about answering specific research questions in a qualitative research. Am I to use the inductive or the deductive or the mixture of the two? This is because inductive aims to find new theories emerging from the data whereas deductive is centred on testing a hypothesis rather than exploring research questions.
Points of distinction top notch. Straight to the point. Keep up the good work. I found this site while searching the difference between the two on Google.
Thank you for the input. I have developed 4 research questions, 3 are on 'what's and 1 'why'. The what is because my sample of analysis is multimodal text. Will my study still fall under qualitative? Thank you in advance, Deborah. I appreciate it very much. Hi Zilla, It is hard to provide a definitive answer without knowing what your research questions are although time does not permit me to provide individual responses.
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.
Inductive reasoning is common among the social sciences whereas deductive research is more common in the natural sciences. An example of inductive research is a behavioral study during which sociologists collect information based on behavior and then study the data they collect to determine if there are any correlations that could indicate a pattern or support a universal theory.
The scientific method usually involves a hypothesis and then the observation of controlled as well as variable subjects on which a conclusion about the accuracy of the original hypothesis is reached. Inductive research begins with observation which leads to a larger universal hypothesis. The primary difference between the two types of research is that inductive research is more flexible in nature.
It allows researchers to explore multiple ideas before determining which one correlates to a hypothesis. The crux of inductive reasoning is also data and discerning patterns.
A deductive approach is concerned with “developing a hypothesis (or hypotheses) based on existing theory, and then designing a research strategy to test the hypothesis” It has been stated that “deductive means reasoning from the particular to the general.
Inductive approaches are generally associated with qualitative research, whilst deductive approaches are more commonly associated with quantitative research. However, there are no set rules and some qualitative studies may have a deductive orientation.
3 Research Methods Research Types Deductive Approach Inductive Approach In research, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches. Inductive, or "bottom-up," research, by comparison, collects data and observations in order to discern a pattern within them, or to formulate a new theory. The procedure followed by deductive research can be summarized as follows: Theory, starting with existing knowledge or assumptions.
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 and then tests hypotheses that emerge from those theories. 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.