Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

The process of reasoning is important not only to decision making, but to learning as well. In t this paper, I have evaluated the differences between deductive and inductive reasoning in order to determine how the reasoning process and thus the learning process can be improved.

Learning basically takes place when we acquire knowledge or develop an understanding and it involves many different types of information. Deductive reasoning basically uses to move from statements to conclusions i.e. the premise that is always supposed to be true when the premise is true. Moreover, it asserts that the truth that lies in the conclusion is logical; they can be both valid and invalid and can only be valid if the truth that lies in the conclusion is true. This theory was developed by the philosophers of the Classical Period such as Aristotle, Thales, etc. An example of deductive reasoning is mentioned below.

Women are bad drivers. (major premise)

Sarah is a woman. (minor premise)

Sarah is a bad driver. (conclusion)

Inductive reasoning is when the premise actually supports the conclusion; however it does not ensure that it is true. Inductive reasoning has been criticized many times and scientists do rely on this but some say that it does not exist. It is based on observations and an example of inductive reasoning is mentioned below.

This tea is hot.

Every tea is hot.

            The Wason selection task was introduced by Peter Cathcart Wason in 1966 used for the psychology of reasoning. This is a logical puzzle and the question that is asked in this puzzle is that after the person is shown a set of four cards and these cards are placed on a table. Each card has a number on one side and a colored patch on the other and the side of the card that is visible shows 3, 8, red and brown. After this, the question is that which cards you should turn over to conduct this test and if it shows an even number, there has to be a primary color on the opposite side of the card for sure. When a person identifies a card, it does not have to be inverted but if the person fails, the card needs to be inverted.

            Typical reasoning in psychology is also simple. In this, the person gets a booklet that contains problems and each problem consists of a group of some premises along with a conclusion. What we have to do in this is to tell whether the conclusion follows the premise logically or not.

             The recent failures of deductive and inductive reasoning that I have experienced are that as reasoning is based on the knowledge, unavailability of knowledge is the greatest failure. Deductive reasoning skills be impeded by the real failures and can be based on the theoretical failures that have been made and can be strengthened by engineering analysis or modeling predictions while inductive reasoning skills be strengthened as well and although it is not provable, it has many other advantages and can help in troubleshooting. Although both reasoning are not ideal for troubleshooting but a rational approach must be adopted. (Fowler, 2004).


Fowler, T. (2004). Logic: Deductive and Inductive. Adamant Media Corporation, Paperback.