Browse Definitions :
Definition

inductive argument

An inductive argument is the use of collected instances of evidence of something specific to support a general conclusion. Inductive reasoning is used to show the likelihood that an argument will prove true in the future.

In an inductive argument, the evident truth of a statement is verified by examples that have proven to be true or that turn out to be true. In the case of inductive reasoning, a statement may seem to be true until an exception is found. A person might inductively reason, for example, that all people have 10 toes till they see an exception.

Often inductive reasoning is based on circumstantial evidence of a more-or-less limited sampling size. Because of this limitation, an argument supported by inductive reasoning can be disproven by a single negative sample.

Inductive reasoning is very susceptible to failures because of cognitive bias, where the investigator sees what they expect to support their argument. While inductive arguments can be convincing and show that an argument seems likely to be true they can never be considered a complete proof, unlike deductive arguments which, when founded on true premises and a valid argument, are assumed to be true (until disproven).

Where inductive reasoning takes evidence from the past or present to support a conclusion of a future prediction, deductive reasoning takes existing premises to infer an existing or past condition.

See also: critical thinking

This was last updated in February 2017

Continue Reading About inductive argument

SearchCompliance
  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

SearchSecurity
  • session key

    A session key is an encryption and decryption key that is randomly generated to ensure the security of a communications session ...

  • data breach

    A data breach is a cyber attack in which sensitive, confidential or otherwise protected data has been accessed and/or disclosed ...

  • multifactor authentication (MFA)

    Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security technology that requires more than one method of authentication from independent ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage
  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close