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Related to Inductive reasoning: Abductive reasoning
The attempt to use information about a specific situation to draw a conclusion.
A way of forming reasonable conclusions by gathering evidence and then forming principles based upon them. For example, if one wishes to find out how a stock will perform, one gathers as much evidence on that stock as possible and makes a conclusion based on that, regardless of one's feelings or suppositions beforehand. The advantage of inductive reasoning is that its evidence offers applicability to "real world" scenarios; however, a disadvantage is that one's evidence may be inaccurate or anecdotal. It is sometimes difficult to know how much evidence is needed to justify coming to a general conclusion. See also: Deductive reasoning, Analogy.