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Deductive arguments are top-down, working from general principles to specific cases. Inductive reasoning, on the other hand, is bottom-up, working from specific observations and looking for patterns that lead to a general conclusion. Your career path in healthcare and health-related fields will present many problems that will require critical reasoning. Think about potential issues or even issues you have already encountered. Determine what type of critical reasoning – inductive or deductive – best suits the situation – or do you need both? If you are short on ideas, use one of these scenarios as a starting point:

  • Suppose you are on a committee that has to decide whether to cut nursing staff or social services staff. How would you approach the problem?
  • Suppose your hospital suddenly sees an enormous increase in emergency room patients, and you are on a committee to investigate the problem and relieve pressure on the ER. How would you approach the problem?

Follow-Up Post Instructions
Respond to at least two peers or one peer and the instructor. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification.

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Professor Stephens

Jackson, D. & Newberry, P. (2016). Critical thinking: A user’s manual (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.

Trochim, W. (2006). Deduction & Induction.  Retrieved from