An Explanation of Deductive 演绎逻辑 and Inductive Logic 归纳逻辑

For people doing academic research, we’ve tried to explain two forms of logic with frequently used academic words.

Deductive logic begins with having a big idea in mind. A person envisions a concept or abstraction without concrete or specific form. About their idea, the person thinks, “I wonder if this idea is true. Let me do an experiment, collect some specific, concrete data, and see if what happens fits with my idea.” This is an example of using deductive logic. The person makes observations, draws conclusions, then decides whether or not the data supports the original idea/hypothesis.

演绎逻辑 yǎnyì luójí deductive logic
Literal translation by keyword: perform deduce logic

Inductive logic begins with noticing some small details. The person thinks, “I wonder what explains why those small things are as they are. Do they belong to a larger whole? Let me design some experiments in which I observe these specific, concrete details in many contexts. Maybe, as a result of many observations, I can draw conclusions about the bigger picture. I may be wrong but at least I will be making an informed, educated guess.” This approach would be considered an example of inductive logic.

归纳逻辑 guīnà luójí inductive logic
Literal translation by keyword: return na (sound) logic.

As part of our Academic Words project, we have been making Academic Words quizzes. Here’s a quiz related to 演绎逻辑 yǎnyì luójí deductive logic and 归纳逻辑 guīnà luójí inductive logic.


Please match the academic word with its correct definition. To assist with studying, please copy and paste the questions, then add your answers to create single lines.

Example answer:

1. abstract 抽象 chōuxiàng b. an idea or theory without concrete form

1. the use of inductive logic 归纳逻辑 guīnà luójí
2. the use of deductive logic 演绎逻辑 yǎnyì luójí
3. example of inductive logic
4. example of deductive logic

a. Scientists and philosophers use this type of logic because they first make specific observations then infer general principles that might explain what they observe. These conclusions, however, may be incorrect.
b. The scientific method uses this type of logic because it tests hypotheses. If the hypothesis is correct, it would predict specific outcomes.
c. I see frogs in this place. Therefore, this must be a good place for frogs to live.
d. In this place, all the frogs are green. King Frog is in this place. Therefore King Frog is green.

King Frog

Answers: 1a, 2b, 3c, 4d

Here are more Academic Words quizzes.

This post was written by Anne Giles. She consulted with Tian Gan, for her expertise in Mandarin Chinese and English.