The 7 Different Types Of Reasoning

Newsletter Jul 14, 2023

Harsh is sitting at the dinner table with his parents when his mother asks what they should do for his birthday tomorrow. Harsh giggles and replies that he already knows what they are going to do tomorrow. Shocked, his mother asks him what he knows; to which Harsh replies that he is aware of the surprise party at the arcade in the mall. When his mom asks him how he knows, Harsh tells her it was simple! Yesterday his mom said she is going for a jog but she only jogs on the weekends and she did not wear her jogging shoes when she left the house. Then when she came back home, she smelled like the free perfume sample you get at the mall and she had a faded purple stamp on her hand that they give when you go to the arcade in the mall. So obviously his mom went to the arcade to prepare for his surprise birthday party! After hearing all this, Harsh’s father laughs proudly and tells Harsh’s mother that their son is turning into a young Sherlock Holmes.

What Harsh has displayed is not magic. It is simply a good practice of reasoning skills. Reasoning skills refer to the ability to analyse information, make logical connections, draw conclusions, and solve problems. It involves critical thinking, deductive and inductive reasoning, and the application of logical principles to arrive at sound judgments and decisions. Reasoning skills play a vital role in various aspects of life, from academic success to personal growth and problem-solving in real-world scenarios.

Why are reasoning skills important?

These skills are critical for the overall cognitive development of any child. Strong reasoning skills help a child to think critically, evaluate evidence, consider different perspectives, and make informed choices. The development of reasoning skills provides children with the correct tools to tackle complex problems, evaluate information and effectively communicate with peers. However, reasoning is a little complex and there are multiple different types. As with most problems, there is no single approach. Similarly, reasoning can take many forms. Mastery even over a few of these skills helps foster independence, creativity, and resilience, setting the stage for lifelong learning and success.

What are the Different Types of Reasoning?

1. Deductive Reasoning

Drawing specific conclusions from general truths or assertions is known as deductive reasoning. It adopts a top-down methodology, progressing from broad premises to narrow conclusions. For example, applying a known formula to different math problems of the same type. This type of reasoning is often used in mathematical and logical problem-solving.

2. Inductive Reasoning

In contrast to the approach of deductive reasoning, we have Inductive reasoning which takes a bottom-up approach where specific instances lead to broader conclusions. It involves generalizing or forming general conclusions based on specific observations or evidence, just like Harsh did in the example above. Inductive reasoning is used in scientific investigations and pattern recognition.

3. Analytical Reasoning

Analytical reasoning entails disassembling complicated issues or circumstances into simpler parts, examining connections and relationships among them, and coming to logical conclusions. It is essential for problem-solving, making decisions, and thinking strategically.
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4. Creative Reasoning

Thinking outside the box, coming up with fresh ideas, and connecting disparate ideas in novel ways are all components of creative reasoning. It encourages originality, creativity, and innovation. For problem-solving, artistic expression, and fostering a spirit of curiosity and exploration, creative reasoning is essential.

5. Practical Reasoning

Real-world situations are used to practice reasoning techniques, consider the practical ramifications, and make decisions that are feasible and practical. It entails taking into account limitations, resources, and the situational context of a decision or problem.

6. Critical Reasoning

The objective evaluation and assessment of data, claims, or arguments is known as critical reasoning. It entails examining the evidence, spotting biases or fallacies, and coming to logical conclusions. Making sound decisions and conducting effective research both require critical thinking.

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7. Moral Reasoning

Moral reasoning entails acting morally and assessing choices and actions in light of moral norms and values. It entails taking decisions into account in terms of their effects, fairness, and moral implications. Empathy, moral compass development, and ethical behavior are all guided by moral reasoning.

Children who have developed their reasoning abilities are better able to think critically, solve problems, and make wise decisions. We can give kids the tools they need to navigate complexities, rise to new challenges, and succeed in a world that is changing quickly by encouraging different types of reasoning skills.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination and reasoning
– Albert Einstein



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