Inductive reasoning is based on observation. Deductive reasoning is based on inference and logical consequence.

Inductive: I have as many apples as I do bananas, therefore I have as many bananas as I do apples.

Deductive: All frogs are amphibians. No cats are amphibians. Therefore no cats are frogs.

“Inductive” reasoning is bottom-up; you start from a specific, limited observation and build to a general conclusion.

>[For example](https://www.dictionary.com/e/inductive-vs-deductive/), let’s say you go to a cafe every day for a month, and every day, the same person comes at exactly 11 am and orders a cappuccino. The specific observation is that this person has come to the cafe at the same time and ordered the same thing every day during the period observed. A general conclusion drawn from these premises could be that this person always comes to the cafe at the same time and orders the same thing.

“Deductive” reasoning, by contrast, goes the other way around; you take a general premise and make specific conclusions regarding individual cases.

>Here’s an example of deductive reasoning: chickens are birds; all birds lay eggs; therefore, chickens lay eggs. Another way to think of it: if something is true of a general class (birds), then it is true of the members of the class (chickens).

Both have their drawbacks: inductive reasoning necessarily goes beyond the information that you know, so in most cases there’s a chance you can be proven wrong; on the other hand, deductive reasoning requires that your initial premises be correct, or even completely logical steps can lead you to the wrong answer.

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