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Researching of Reasoning and Decision-Making

Deductive logic is the process of reasoning where the specific information is concluded from general premises. It normally has a form of a syllogism, which in turn can be divided into categorical, conditional, and disjunctive syllogisms. The former implies two or sometimes more categorical statements that indicate the existing relationship between two sets of objects or events. In this regard, categorical syllogisms have the following form:

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  • Major premise: All/Some/No A are B;
  • Minor premise: All/Some/No C are A;
  • Conclusion: All/Some/No C are B.

Conditional reasoning has a similar structure to the categorical syllogism with the difference that the major premise would have the form of ‘if A…then B’ and the minor premise would show whether either (no) A or (no) B happened. Finally, disjunctive syllogisms have the form of ‘major premise: A or B; minor premise: not A; therefore B’ or ‘ major premise: A or B; minor premise: A; therefore A’ (Mody and Carey, 2016). Thus, it is seen that although the different types of syllogisms may vary, they generally follow the same deductive logic.

Inductive reasoning, on the other hand, is based on the analysis of specific objects and events and making general conclusions. It includes analogical reasoning, establishing causal relationships, and the process category induction, to name a few most often used logical schemas (McBride and Cutting, 2019). For instance, a person uses category induction when he/she encounters some unfamiliar object and intends to assign it to a certain class based on the shared attributes.

As a result, the previous analysis revealed that deductive and inductive reasoning contrasted in the methods of determining the truth. However, probably the greatest difference lies in how these two approaches deal with truth itself. Deductive logic examines the absolute truth and, thus, its conclusions are either valid or not valid. On the contrary, induction concentrates more on the probability of something being true. Nevertheless, both reasoning methods serve their own unique purpose and, therefore, can coexist in harmony.

When making a logical decision, I usually start with defining the goals or determining the problem that should be solved. Oppositely to the unconscious decisions, the logical process should thoroughly consider as many available options as possible (McBride and Cutting, 2019). For example, when making a decision concerning purchasing some product, it is necessary to be led not only by the emotional utility of the commodity but also by its practical value.

Most of the time, I try to deliver decisions that would benefit all or most people involved. I think that there is always an alternative way to make one’s choice to follow a ‘win-win’ strategy. It is important not only because it is in some sense a moral obligation of each person but also because this approach would be beneficial in the long run compared to self-oriented decisions. Indeed, when decisions are made solely following my best interests, other parties would be unwilling to interact with me in the future.

The next step includes gathering as much information as possible and structuring it based on the priorities that were determined at the beginning. In this regard, more information means more possible options to consider, which increases the chances of a plausible decision outcome. Additionally, organizing the information in a manner that reflects the individual preferences, advantages, and disadvantages of each alternative leads to a more balanced choice.

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After sufficient information is collected and structured, I can finally make a certain decision. However, this process seems easy in theory but may actually be hard in practice. That happens due to the existing uncertainty associated with decision-making, meaning that it is not always clear whether the most plausible option was chosen (McBride and Cutting, 2019). Being unsure is good as it can signify that more information and analysis are needed. Yet, it can also make an individual be stuck on this stage without being able to deliver any decision.

References

McBride, D. M., & Cutting, J. C. (2019). Cognitive psychology: Theory, process, and methodology (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Mody, S., & Carey, S. (2016). The emergence of reasoning by the disjunctive syllogism in early childhood. Cognition, 154, 40-48.

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