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How to develop deductive thinking

Another famous literary character A.K. Doyle Sherlock Holmes used the deductive method in solving crimes.

In the stories about Sherlock Holmes, strange murders are described, and there are a lot of mystifications that do not surpass the simple elementary rules of human psychology and physical laws. Of course, the writer himself possessed deductive thinking, he very clearly, in fact, reveals us the stories of crimes on behalf of the great detective.

The deductive method of thinking will help you to see the multi-way connections of information better, facilitate the search for facts, and teach you to build judgments. It will teach to build thoughts consistently and practically, to think in the direction of the meaning around which the situation is concentrated.

Features of deductive thinking

The development of the deductive method began in the time of Aristotle and the philosophical sciences. When it was necessary to reveal the truth, syllogisms were used to derive from a number of judgments.

What characterizes the modern deductive method? The deductive method involves actual awareness, collecting reliable information and finding out its formal conditions.

Deductive thinking involves building causal relationships. The connection is established either between two real facts, or a fact and an idea of ​​how it will affect the future. The judgment (logical expression) includes: first, prerequisites, second, conclusion.

The general premise matters as some universal law, which introduces the remaining small prerequisites into the system. Small prerequisites are of particular importance, which falls under this law. The conclusion is what should be expected when the conditions of the general premise are fulfilled.

For example, the general law may be the universal law of the world: the earth attracts all material objects (having weight). The first idea will be - "the apple has a certain weight." Then the conclusion “the apple will be thrown and it will fall to the ground down, as well as all heavy objects.”

According to the deduction rule, the general premise is taken as an already proven law underlying a real phenomenon that a person observes directly:

  •  The main way to get general knowledge is to closely monitor natural and social phenomena, abstraction from their specific features;
  •  the second small private premise acquires the character of indirect information, purely theoretical, and its truth is mediated through the main rule of the phenomenon;
  • The general main premise is the most abstract. Private premise is more specific.

We do not need to repeatedly carry out experiments with the apple (and many other items that have weight) in order to once again confirm the general law. A person successfully uses the deductive method, without resorting to unnecessary actions and repeated checks. In addition, the method allows you to build very real hypotheses about future events, to build a chain of prerequisites and conclusions, leading human thinking far ahead.

Therefore, this method speeds up the receiving of verified information within the framework of theoretical logic.

In two words, deductive thinking allows one to divide conclusions and make predictions about private events on the basis of common signs of an observed object or phenomenon.

Difference between deductive and inductive methods

Inductive method of obtaining knowledge or assumptions are based on the transition from the private (small premises) to the general. As a starting point, to draw a conclusion, some concrete signs of an unknown phenomenon are taken. For example, if a person has a fever, cough, it means that he has a flu (cold). Man in reasoning goes from the part to the whole. In this case, from the disparate symptoms to the definition of the disease.

From the point of view of the deductive method, this is wrong. First of all, it is necessary to cover the whole picture, and for this you need to introduce a generalizing component - “cold disease”. For example, if a person has a flu, then, therefore, he should have all the relevant symptoms. But to get an inference procedure, you need to possess an extensive knowledge base. Deductive thinking is more generalizing, global and is expressed in the most formal form of a chain of logical conclusions. Inductive refers more to the intuitive insights, subjective presentiments.

Sometimes in a single situation several different facts are combined, and they are divided into single signs and references to evidence.

  •  from the particular to the general - induction;
  •  from general to particular - deduction.

However, the general knowledge (of the law) is obtained through a close consideration of particular cases, their combination, it means, by induction.

It means the deductive and inductive approach is mutually conditioned, and first, before determining the general law and attribute of various phenomena, the chain of conclusions moves “from bottom to top” (inductive approach), and later, after finding a common feature for particular cases - “from top to bottom” (deductive approach ).

How to develop deductive thinking

1. Try to make the complete picture of the situation and the characters of people to the smallest detail. Do not miss a single detail, even if it is, at first glance, not very significant. While reading the book, try to follow the description of the characters, their motives, insertions and reservations of the author, set the storyline in the background. Thus, you calculate the outcome of events, the outcome of the novel before you read it.

2. Try to be interested in any information in fiction or a theory textbook, or just in a newspaper article. Strive to be aware of world and local news to plan your affairs, based on what is happening. Learn to memorize important facts, figures, symbols, which can be useful in forecasts, disputes. Support personal hypotheses with accurate information, not relying only on intuition.

3. Develop the flexibility of thinking. Do not hold on to one theory (thought). Try to develop a different working principle or plan for the situation. Do not reject the advice of friends and strangers. Compare the narrated versions with each other to expand your understanding of this event. Do not be afraid to ask questions to the interlocutor.

4. Learn to read non-verbal signs that a person uses in conversation. Try to observe the facial expressions, gestures, posture, mood, actions of the interlocutor. The direction of gaze of the interlocutor is also a non-verbal paralinguistic sign. Perhaps all these elements of holistic behavior will become a hidden, motivational context for speech elements (words).

5. Develop logical thinking in general. Train your mind by solving puzzles, crosswords, problems. Purchase a book where logic tasks are described. Do exercises online.

6. Try to summarize information and facts more globally: to trace patterns not only within a single phenomenon or situation, but to establish links between two or three phenomena.

7. One of the human instincts is curiosity. Be curious about everything. Do not reject previously unknown information, even if it does not correspond to your current views. Try to figure it out. Be interested in everything that surrounds you - conversations of various people on the street, appearance, characters, vocabulary specificity.

Tasks for the development of deductive thinking

A typical task to develop the method of deductive thinking is the well-known Einstein's mystery, in which it is proposed to guess some facts about the five houses, who lives in them, what they eat, smoke, and what kind of animal they have. The task gives indirect clues. Another example of a deduction task might be:

“A person lives in a block of flats on the 15th floor. When he returns home, he takes the elevator up to the 9th floor, and up to the 15th, he walks on the stairs. When he does not return home alone or in rainy weather, he goes to the 15th floor by elevator. The question is: why?

All tasks on objective logic develop abstract thinking and operational memory, the ability to search for repetitive details, motives that contribute to the development of deductive thinking.

Slow thinking, statistics and deduction

Another way to develop deductive thinking is to train slow thinking and make intelligent decisions. A person uses different types of thinking to get an answer. Intuitive depends on emotional premonitions and allows you to see the desired answer immediately. In critical situations, this is the most effective method - to respond quickly, to anticipate risks and dangers, to save time, to avoid unnecessary calculations.

But when the task requires not a lightning reaction, but an in-depth understanding of all the details, then slow thinking contributes to mental meticulousness in the informational material, suppression of the speed of thoughts (hanging them in the field of consciousness) and voluntary attention. In order to make it easier to get a state of slow thinking, first learn to work thoughtfully with fascinating (interesting for you) information, then formal logic is fueled with personal interest.

The statistical method is partly an analogy of intuition, but it is based on objective data. In some ways, this method combines both induction and deduction. Real statistics are taken as statistics. For example, the temperature outside, measured by day with an accurate instrument - a thermometer. But between measurements, an intuitive connection is established - a sense of time (frequency and duration). The frequency of low temperature, which decreases with each day, means that frost is expected in the future.  In this case, none of the facts is a general rule for all others, however, the measurements themselves are objective information, and the conclusions reached are the basis for deductive reasoning.

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