Science Teaching Series

Internet Resources

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science

Deductive Reasoning - Example from Chemistry

Deduction is the process of drawing a conclusion from available information While inductive reasoning allows you to learn something new about the world; deductive reasoning allows you to apply what you have learned.


Example of a deductive argument:

All noble gasses are stable.
Neon is a noble gas.
Therefore, neon is stable.
  • The first premise (all noble gasses are stable) is the result of inductive reasoning.
  • The second premise (neon is a noble gas ) identifies a specific member of that group (neon).
  • The conclusion then applies the knowledge about the quality that the group shares to the individual member (or instance) identified.
    Considering the information given in the the premises, the conclusion is valid. No other conclusion can be drawn based on the premises given (lines 1 and 2).

Sample Deductive Reasoning Activity

Task: Plot Atomic Radius vs. Atomic Number using deductive reasoning

(1) the radius is dependent upon outermost electrons
(2) the nucleus is positive
(3) electrons are negative
(4) opposites attract
(5) electrons can occupy only specific energy levels

Plot the relative first ionization energy as a function of atomic number for the first 3-5 periods.