The process of inductive reasoning is the opposite of the process of deductive reasoning. With inductive reasoning, a series of examples is used to form a conclusion. Inductive arguments are leaky and wide open to criticism. In order to debunk an argument made by inductive reasoning, all you have to do is find one exception. Stereotypes are examples of inductive reasoning, and most rational people are quick to dismiss stereotyped thinking.
What is Inductive Reasoning?
Going back to the 2012 presidential campaign, the American Society for Federation, State, and Municipal Employees ran a series of advertisements in which they interviewed the garbage collectors who pick up Mitt Romney’s trash outside his $12-million-dollar residence in La Jolla, California. These people claimed to be “invisible” to Mitt Romney and said they felt unappreciated because he didn’t acknowledge them with smiles, hugs, or bottles of water. In their advertisements, the American Society of Federation, State, and Municipal Employees used these examples to conclude that Mitt Romney doesn’t care about working-class people.
But a closer examination of the issue proves that Mitt Romney does in fact know what it’s like to be a garbage man. In fact, as pointed out by Charles C.W. Cooke at the National Review Online, while governor of Massachusetts, Romney worked as a garbage man for a day.