Share Share
Text size Increase font size Decrease font size
Share Share
Text size Increase font size Decrease font size

Dictionary

Induction

JOHN BREWER

Induction is an approach in social research which argues that empirical generalisations and theoretical statements should be derived from the data. It is the inverse of deduction, in which hypotheses are derived from theory and then tested against data. Induction is associated with qualitative research and naturalism, where the intent is to be ‘true to the data themselves’, allowing the data ‘to speak for themselves’. That is, a priori assumptions and theoretical ideas should not be used to interpret data, rather the social meaning inherent in the data alone should be used as the basis for any empirical generalisation or theoretical statement. As an approach to theory building it is associated with Glaser and Strauss’ formulation of grounded theory in which theory is the outcome of the research. As an approach to qualitative data analysis it is expressed by the idea of ‘analytic induction’ in which empirical generalisations develop In ...

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please, subscribe or login to access all Methods content.

Click here to see full text

Articles in Google Scholar by