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Inductive and deductive approaches to research

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❶Thanks Reply Deductive research is more aimed towards testing a hypothesis and therefore is an approach more suited to working with quantitative data. You can look this up yourself, through your library and learning resources at your institution….




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. Thanks Deborah for the explanation but, i want to ask if descriptive is inductive or deductive approach? Can I ask one question? I am going to research how technology is changing the hotel industry particularly at the hotel front desk so is that inductive or deductive approach? I believe deductive approach because the aim of my research is to investigate current used technology at hotel front desk.

So what do you think please let me know Thank you very much indeed. Please refer to my post on conceptual frameworks to take you through the key steps in developing a research project — you will find your answer there: Thank you so much Deborah. I have found the book very hard to understand especially when I'm wrtiting up the methodology section as I have to talk about deductive and inductive approaches. You have simplified it and explained it well.

Also you have made it so so easy to understand. Everyone should be reading this. Thank you so so, so much. Deborah, your work is precise,well organized and relevant. Hi Doc, thank you for making things simpler for me. I will always be incontact with your website. Hi Deborah, i just went through the abductive approach which is combination of inductive and deductive Approach.

But after going through the conversation in this page helped me a lot. Thank u very much. Title is Knowledge and Learning Model among effective repatriation. Thank u all again. Hi Deborah Thank you very much for the article. My question is what approach am i supposed to take if i am doing a research that is both qualitative and quantitative. I am doing research on the feasibility of establishing renewable energy systems in a developing country.

I am using a simulation software to generate a model to analyse the technical and economic data Quantitative but i have to use interviews to capture social and polical views from industry experts Qualitative. So which approach is best in such a scenario? In a mixed methods study, the quanitiative dimension of the study usually functions to capture preliminary data, with the qualitative dimension being the primary method that answers the research questions.

In any case, in a mixed methods study you must peform both quantitative and qualitative data analysis — separately. In reference to your specifc study you need to refer back to your reearch questions and the aims and objectives of your study.

Is your primary objective to develop a model for a renewable energy system or is it to determine whether industry experts see the viability of the model? If it is the latter then the approach should be inductive. I would advise you to consult your supervisor or someone in your discipline, as I am not an engineer. Your explanation of concepts is succint and easily conceivable. No problem — you can use the contact form and your message will go directly to my email address.

Thank you Deborah, that was a simple, clear explanation helpful for sure. I like the way you simplified everything,was really helpful for my assignment. Inductive and deductive approaches to research. However it seems short. Dear Almaz, thank you for your feedback. Therefore, I am taking the Western literature outcomes and applying these in UAE context to see the results. Will this research be treated as "Deductive' or "Inductive"?

Should I choose 'Quantitative" or "Qualitative' approach? Wishing you all the best. So what is grounded theory? This has been troubling me for a while. It is often said that the interpretive paradigm typically goes with inductive approaches and methods involving observation, interviews and research into archives.

But then if concepts are to emerge from the data without theoretical preconceptions, how come it is often said that the research design, choice of case studies, and initial coding in thematic analysis can be theory driven? Or, how does theory coming before the research design fit with an inductive approach? In my experience so far authors seem to evade this point. Thank You so very much Deborah. I really got to uncover what puzzled me on deductive versus inductive approaches.

It was very simple and useful. It is very useful for my dissertation. If I want to conduct a research to find those elements in a bank operation. Hi Deborah, Thank you for a great article! It made it very clear the differenece between deductive and inductive. I'd like to ask you the following: In answer to your question, I think maybe you are confusing research questions with hypotheses.

Hi Deborah Thanks for an intersting piece of work presented. Am kindly inquiring how i can get along with literature review and conceptual framemework on the topic 'IDPs and Solid Waste Management' and objectives; exploring everyday practice around solid waste management; finding out how social networks move and merge into new spaces for waste management and establish connections between waste management and social lfestyle. Hi Deborah thank you for a great article.

Dear Amna, Welcome to the world of research — we all have to start somewhere! If you're new to social research I would recommend you join the Social Research Association SRA who provide training and a wealth of resources for researchers.

With regards to theory — unless you are researching new phenomena that has never been researched before or are developing a completely new approach unlikely you will not be creating 'new' theory with your research project.

You will be using existing theory in your approach and embed theoretical perspectives into your methodology. You will also likely use relevant theories when analysing your data. However, before you think about theory you need to develop your methodology — see my other post: Hi Deborah, Thank you for the precise and helpful information..

I need your help as I feel a little bit confused. I used the conceptual framework from other previous conducted study. It was conducted in quantitative manner. If i used the conceptual framework as my guidance for my literature review and interview question construction, is that okay if i do not use inductive for the case study because i do not build a new theory.

If i just compare and argue with the previous finding and the model used, is it consider as deductive approach in case study? What do you think? It may require a little bit of referencing. Furthermore, adding citation line below will be useful for academic use. My study is ethnographic research specifically it studies about culture, tradition and lifestyle of an ethnic groups.

I think my research is inductive, is it right? Thank you, I feel same as most the above commentators. Very well written — written in a way that I who for the first time heard of these two types of researcher methods, felt like I got a gist of what they are and how they are different. Hi, It is really helpful me to get sorted these concepts in research field in simple manner. Thanks for that and really appreciate it.

That was just perfect. Now it is completely clear. Is that possible to have both in our research? I mean, what if we choose an inductive approach and then when we go forward make some assumptions to answer research questions? You cannot start with inductive and then switch to deductive — it must be one or the other.

Great work and explanation and also the researcher herself is very energetic and motivated to help others… world is because of people like you. You can look this up yourself, through your library and learning resources at your institution…. Dear Deborah, Thank you for the precise explanation of inductive and deductive approaches. When analysing data in a qualitative study, could you use both inductive and deductive methods as a triangulation technique?

Hi Irene, a mixed methods study might involve both a quantitative method — e. But the overall approach would still be inductive as the quantitative element normally shapes the qualitative and the overall aim would still be to gain in-depth understandings rather than generalise findings. Mixed methods does as you say, create academic rigour through triangulation. Your email address will not be published.

The next step involves grouping the data, reducing the number of categories by combining similar headings into broader categories. Through this process, researchers generate knowledge and increase understanding of the material. Like other forms of qualitative analysis, inductive content analysis is often a time-consuming process, requiring in-depth reading and rereading of material. Yan Zhang and Barbara M.

Wildemuth of North Carolina's School of Information and Library Science liken the method to grounded theory, another qualitative research technique in which theory emerges from repeated review and classification of raw data.

Shane Hall is a writer and research analyst with more than 20 years of experience. Hall has a Doctor of Philosophy in political economy and is a former college instructor of economics and political science. Skip to main content. Identification Inductive content analysis is a qualitative method of content analysis that researchers use to develop theory and identify themes by studying documents, recordings and other printed and verbal material.

Function In contrast to quantitative content analysis techniques, which enable researchers to derive quantitative measures from non-numerical information sources, inductive content analysis is well-suited for research where few or no previous studies of the phenomenon in question exist. Features Inductive content analysis begins with organizing the raw data, whether it's business news articles, marketing reports, advertisements or other material, through a process known as open coding. Considerations Like other forms of qualitative analysis, inductive content analysis is often a time-consuming process, requiring in-depth reading and rereading of material.

References 2 University of North Carolina: About the Author Shane Hall is a writer and research analyst with more than 20 years of experience. Accessed 14 September


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A general inductive approach for qualitative data analysis David R. Thomas, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, August 2 A general inductive approach for qualitative data analysis There is a wide range of literature that documents the underlying assumptions and procedures associated with analysing qualitative data.

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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.

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Keywords: inductive analyses; qualitative analysis methods T In looking for published examples of research using specific qualitative methodologies, I Thomas / Analyzing Qualitative Evaluation Data 2. The primary mode of analysis is the development of categories from the raw data into a model or. Inductive content analysis is a qualitative method of content analysis that researchers use to develop theory and identify themes by studying documents, recordings and other printed and verbal material.

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Generally, the application of inductive approach is associated with qualitative methods of data collection and data analysis, whereas deductive approach is perceived to be related to quantitative methods. The following table illustrates such a classification from a broad perspective. The inductive approach reflects frequently reported patterns used in qualitative data analysis. Most inductive studies report a model that has between three and eight main categories in the findings. The general inductive approach provides a convenient and efficient way of analysing qualitative data for many research purposes.