Inductive reasoning skill is about logic. It is not only for an IQ test, or a mathematical exam. Neither is it an innate ability that is exclusively found in an elite group.
In fact, we are all tested with this skill all the time in everyday life. It is the use of reason in thinking and making decisions. This skill is trainable.
We don’t need to be smart in order to acquire logic. However, when mastering logic, we will live a smarter life. So, how do we begin?
Let’s Talk Logic
In the previous post I talked about becoming a better logical thinker which also requires reasoning skills. In this post, I will elaborate on inductive reasoning in detail.
Not because I personally enjoy it in an IQ test or a brain puzzle, but because I believe this ability to make valid generalisations is essential for everyone.
What is Inductive Reasoning?
Inductive reasoning is a type of logical thinking. Simply put, It’s the ability to spot patterns and trends.
When using inductive reasoning, we work from specific examples to general principles. We observe specific cases and come up with most possible conclusions.
Let’s say, if you ever notice that many electric cars in your neighbourhood run quietly and assume that electric cars are quiet in general, you are already exercising your inductive reasoning skill. But is your assumption correct?
Inductive reasoning is the ability to use reason to spot patterns and trends. We make assumptions and draw conclusions from observing specific examples.
Benefits of Inductive Reasoning
With this skill, we are able to predict what may happen in the future. This is helpful when we look for a solution, or possible solutions to a specific problem.
This skill also helps us with planning and adjusting our strategies accordingly, either at work or in everyday life.
Also, inductive reasoning helps us to identify ‘truth’ from ‘lies’ and ‘correctness’ from ‘incorrectness’.
Think of yourself as Sherlock Holmes!
Strangely enough, there exists no ‘proof of truth’. When we say we’re proving something to someone, we simply use facts and evidence to prove or disprove the matter which then leads us to certain conclusions.
That’s why inductive reasoning is commonly used in many fields; e.g. scientific research, business, strategic planning, medicine and law.
Disadvantages of Inductive Reasoning
Accurate observations won’t necessarily lead to accurate conclusions.
The accuracy of our conclusions is limited as it’s determined by the number of examples we have seen. The more observations we have, the more accurate our conclusions are likely to be.
This means if we haven’t seen enough examples and jump to a conclusion too soon, we could be wrong.
Let’s get back to the electric car example. Your conclusion that all electric cars are quiet might be sound until one day you see a new generation of electric cars equipped with an audio device which sounds like a traditional engine.
Incomplete observations lead to invalid assumptions. This happens a lot when people form a judgement on characters or stereotypes.
How do I Improve My Inductive Reasoning Skill?
Inductive reasoning is not an innate gift, but a skill. Like any other skill, it’s trainable and we all can master it with practice.
1. Become Observant
Historically, humans put their lives at risk if they didn’t observe their surroundings. Nowadays, we still put ourselves at risk when we don’t make it a priority to observe our environment, either indoors or outdoors.
Learn to take notice of things around you, big or small. Look beyond the surface and learn to interpret what message lies underneath.
Stay alert, be curious.
2. Attention to Detail
Not only become aware of your surroundings, pay attention to details.
Try a memory game for testing your attention to detail. Brain puzzles are also generally useful. An agile brain, in turn, will enable you to see things with sharper eyes and deeper insight.
3. Focus on Your Memory
We cannot analyse new information and draw conclusions without being able to recall past knowledge. Accurate memories of past experience, information and events are crucial references for our future predictions.
Training your memory is a must when training inductive reasoning skill.
4. Get rid of Distractions
It’s hard to focus and pay attention to detail on anything when our mind constantly gets disrupted.
Not to be confused with being observant, it’s about setting your priority and knowing what you are looking for.
Observing things with mindfulness in order to spot patterns and possibilities is good. Responding to everything around you is not. The ability to focus in this hectic overwhelming world is indeed priceless and rewarding in a long run.
Inductive reasoning is about using reason, not emotion.Gamma High IQ Society
Inductive reasoning is about using reason, not emotion. When facing a certain situation, it helps us identify the best possibilities in order to make the best possible decisions.
Again, think of yourselves as the genius detective Sherlock Holmes. Be observant, pay attention to detail, focus on training your memory and get rid of distractions.
This skill not only makes us think clearer, speak better and act smarter, but also live more wisely overall.
All rights reserved. Used by Permission of Gamma High IQ Society and Superbrain Code.