In various fields of science, different researchers take different meanings of the term ‘research approach’. Some people think it deals with the collection and analysis of data, while others consider it as a difference between qualitative and quantitative methods of research or relate it with the study design. But the most appropriate way to define a research approach is that it is a plan or procedure to conduct research. So in this context, the research approaches are of three types, inductive approach, deductive approach and abductive approach. This article will specifically discuss the inductive approach (specific to general) along with its pros and cons.
Which Is An Inductive Approach?
In inductive approaches, the research starts with observations, and theories are the end results. In other words, this approach uses observations to develop theories at the end of the research process. It involves searching for the pattern on the basis of observations and explanations and ends on theories or series of hypotheses formulation. In the light of the definition of the inductive approach, no researcher can apply theories and hypotheses at the start of the research. This approach is research-friendly because it offers flexibility to change the direction for study at the initial stages of research.
Still, every researcher should keep in mind one thing while using the inductive approach for research, that is, never use disregarding theories while defining research questions and objectives of a given study. It aims to make the collected data meaningful, or it finds the relationship or patterns between variables to build a theory. Another interesting fact about this approach is that it never prevents researchers from using the already presented theories to explore the research questions. Besides, the importance of this approach lies in fact that it allows researchers to learn from experience. In simple words, in inductive reasoning, the resemblances, regularities and patterns between variables help us draw conclusions or generate theories.
The Simplest Way To Organize Research Is By Using An Inductive Approach
Regardless of the research types, the first step in research using an inductive approach must be the collection of data or observation relevant to the topic of interest. After gathering a substantial amount of data, the researcher should take an eagle-eye view to observe the patterns in it. Thus, the last step must be to develop a theory based on the patterns observed in the data. Hiring a masters dissertation help firm can be beneficial at this step.
Example Of Inductive Approach
Let us understand the inductive approach by considering a natural phenomenon instead of using them based on the data. The hypothesis may be ‘we will see the fire in our backyard this summer’. Likewise, in scientific research, the inductive approach will deal with the same pattern to conduct research.
What Type Of Data Does It Specifically Deal With?
In general, the inductive approach is useful for research that aims to generate theories. In particular, it has a wide number of applications within the qualitative research designs. There are several reasons that you cannot use this approach for quantitative research methods. But the most appropriate one is quantitative research methods that require interpretation of data based on theories which is not the subject of the inductive approach. Hence, this approach is useful for researchers who aim to deal with qualitative data analysis instead of quantitative.
What Are The Benefits Of The Inductive Approach?
There are three most common benefits of inductive approach. The following section will provide details on each.
Array Of Probabilities
Among the list of benefits of the inductive approach, the biggest benefit is that it allows us to work with the probabilities. In fact, it is not necessary that all probabilities will be true; still, it refers to various options to the researchers. This approach is extremely important for researches where you have very little information in hand. In such a research, we often need some starting points. As it starts from an observation or experience, it can provide researchers with that starting point.
Fuels Further Exploration
Another of the inductive approach is its ability to move from specific to general facts. As it starts from the specific observation, hence it gives researchers liberty to explore more about the topic. It allows them to explore more facts, test the possibilities and try different scenarios before drawing conclusions. This approach is not only good for the studies that involve investigating but also helps judge the accuracy of the initial assessment and inference.
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The inductive approach has positive effects on the students’ cognitive abilities. The examples of cognitive abilities of students include better critical thinking, auditory processing, sustained attention and many more. Inductive reasoning teaches students to focus on the mirror details or observe specific things to generalise their knowledge. Hence, it helps them improve critical thinking, improve the auditory process and sustain their attention to observe the facts.
What Are The Disadvantages Of The Inductive Approach?
If you want to choose the inductive approach, then it will be better to know about its disadvantages as well. This approach has limited scope due to many reasons. First, it begins with a specific observation or experience, and this is the biggest disadvantage of this approach. If the observation that lays the foundation of the whole research is incorrect, then the study will end up with a wrong interpretation of facts. In other words, the chances of getting wrong in the inductive approach are far greater than in the deductive approach.
Second, organising research on specific facts is a more time taking process. It demands more expertise in terms of structuring and organisation of information. Third, students need more teachers’ assistance in conducting inductive research. The reason is while moving from specific to general information. Students often detract from the main topic of interest. As a whole, before using the inductive approach for any research, the student should ensure proper planning, time and rules to use it.
As a whole, for all those who are going through the research phase of their master’s or bachelor’s degree, the understanding of inductive approach is necessary. This approach helps researchers to organise data from specific to general patterns. Hence, such researches end up with a generation of theories and hypothesis.