Inductive vs. deductive reasoning

Inductive reasoning aims at developing a theory. It moves from specific observations to broad generalizations. Deductive reasoning aims at testing an existing theory. It moves from broad generalizations to specific observations.

Both approaches are often used in research, and it’s not uncommon to combine them in one large study.

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Qualitative vs. quantitative research

There are two approaches to conducting empirical research: qualitative research and quantitative research. Each type of research has different objectives and methods, and both are important for gaining different kinds of knowledge.

Quantitative research

Quantitative research is expressed in numbers and graphs. It is used to test or confirm theories and assumptions. This type of research can be used to establish generalizable facts about a topic.

  • Surveys, experimental research, observational research
Qualitative research

Qualitative research is expressed in words. It is used to understand concepts, thoughts or experiences. This type of research enables you to gather in-depth insights on topics that are not well understood.

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