Deductive Reasoning Definition and Examples

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Employers place a high value on the logical reasoning skills of job candidates during the recruitment process. These skills also come into play when it comes to retaining and promoting employees. Deductive reasoning represents an important form of logical reasoning that is widely applied in many different industries. 

What is Deductive Reasoning?

Deductive reasoning involves a thought process in which general principles guide individuals as they analyze specific phenomenon or take specific action. Deductive reasoning is sometimes referred to as top-down thinking or moving from the general to the specific. 

Deductive Reasoning in the Workplace

Employees who accept established premises and formulate approaches to their work based on those premises (or standards) are using their deductive reasoning skills. Overall, they are guided by the philosophy, policies, and procedures embraced by their organization. In their day-to-day activity, they are guided by their knowledge of the job, company, and industry (including the most recent industry trends) as they make decisions and solve problems.

Examples of Deductive Reasoning Skills

1. A consumer products firm believes that professional women are overloaded with family and work responsibilities and strapped for time. Therefore, they advertising that their hair coloring product can be applied in less time than their competition's hair coloring product.

2. Human Resources has identified public speaking skills as an important qualifier for a particular position. They decide to require candidates to make an oral presentation on a predetermined topic as a part of their second interview. 

3. Management is committed to professional development for staff members and mandates that a formal professional development plan is incorporated into all performance reviews.

4. Development executives at a college believe that professionals working in the financial sector are the best donors. So, they direct their two most effective staff members to target alumni working in finance when it comes time to plan their next fundraising strategy. 

5. A liquor store owner identifies a trend that customers are buying more bourbon than other types of alcohol. The store owner then allocates prime ad space to bourbon and offers related discounts.

6. A supermarket manager believes that candy products are an impulse buy. He or she positions candy displays adjacent to store entry paths. 

7. A detective believes that robberies at banks are usually inside jobs planned by experienced thieves. Therefore, he or she does a criminal background check on employees with access to cash reserves.  

8. A hospital believes that patients recover more quickly if they get more sleep. The hospital distributes eye masks and earplugs to patients and reduces lighting during the night. 

9. Teachers in the science department agree that their students learn better through hands-on activity.  Therefore, they increase laboratory activities when developing next year's curriculum. 

10. A food products company spots a trend that consumers favor organic products, so they increase the size of the lettering for the word "Organic" when redesigning their packaging.