Do you carry an umbrella when you notice dark clouds in the sky? Do you often step away when someone sneezes in front of you fearing that the person could transmit an infection to you?

Humans make such decisions or reach such conclusions because they are born with innate reasoning abilities. Reasoning helps justify our actions, behavior and experiences.

In addition to everyday decisions, different types of reasoning skills are also used to make decisions and solve problems at the workplace. Most organizations reward employees who have the ability to solve problems that could hinder work as they are likely to be more productive than others. Reasoning skills can help you make informed choices that can positively impact your career.

Let’s find out what the different kinds of reasoning are and how they can help you make decisions.

What Are The Types Of Reasoning?

Here are the different types of reasoning abilities:

  1. Logical Reasoning:

Logical reasoning is one of the most crucial types of reasoning and uses a methodical approach to arrive at a specific conclusion. If you implement this systematic process in your work and life, you’ll be able to process facts better. It’ll help you manage your emotions and implement reasonable solutions.

Employers appreciate presentations based on logical strategies. An aspiring manager or leader can demonstrate different types of logical reasoning abilities by promoting teamwork and adopting collective strategies.

There are three major types of logical reasoning:

  • Deductive Reasoning:

It is a formal process with a top-down approach. Here, you deduce facts or conclusions from a given set of data or observations by using logical reasoning. This type of reasoning doesn’t provide any new information but only helps to rearrange the existing facts in order to obtain new statements or conclusions. For example, when the government extended the COVID-induced lockdown twice, you probably deduced that it may get extended further. You used formal logic to arrive at certain results.

  • Inductive Reasoning:

Otherwise known as cause-and-effect reasoning, inductive reasoning uses the bottom-up approach. It moves from specific observations to general conclusions or theories. It’s more open-ended and exploratory. You analyze situations by looking for patterns and trends that lead you to generalize your conclusions. When you pursue that pattern, you don’t know for sure if it’ll continue, but you assume it will. Therefore, your conclusions may have uncertain but likely results. For example, if you see your manager and team leader having a meeting, you may assume that you’ll be called to meet with them next, based on your inductive reasoning.

  • Abductive Reasoning:

Like inductive reasoning, abductive reasoning seeks theories or specific events to explain conclusions. However, unlike inductive reasoning, the conclusions drawn through abductive reasoning are based on guesswork. Under this, it’s assumed that the most probable conclusion is the valid one.

This type of reasoning is typically used in the context of uncertainty so that you can take your best shot at guessing. For example, while taking competitive examinations, students face several challenging questions. This doesn’t stop them from attempting all the questions because they want to choose the most probable answer. Even workplaces appreciate employees who can make educated guesses and rely on their gut feeling.

  1. Critical Thinking:

It’s a process of developing rational thought where logical connections are made between ideas. It helps you engage in independent and reflective thought processes. It allows for a range of ideas to be examined, thereby utilizing your ability to reason. It’s often influenced by external factors like language or culture and internal factors like emotions. When different types of logical reasoning fail you, critical thinking enables you to explore the grey areas or the complexities or nuances in life. It’s an essential skill to have at the workplace because it helps in analysis, interpretation, decision-making and problem-solving. You can arrive at conclusions in an objective, informed and thorough manner using critical thinking skills.

  1. Counterfactual Thinking:

Have you ever found yourself saying, “What if I had taken the chance?” If you did, you were engaging in counterfactual thinking. It’s the practice of evaluating the choices that weren’t made. Additionally, it’s a common thought pattern that takes you back in time and helps you reflect on decisions that could have been taken in the past.

This is one of the trickiest types of reasoning abilities because there’s the fear of dwelling too much on the past. However, when used wisely, counterfactual thinking may provide you with insights that can be applied to your future choices.


Organizations are in constant search of people who can add value to the workplace by utilizing various types of reasoning abilities they may have. This is why you’ll find interviewers trying to gauge your logical reasoning and thinking competencies. Questions like “tell me about a time when you disagreed with your co-worker and how did you resolve it” or “what are the logical steps to this problem?” are some of the popular ways to evaluate your reasoning capabilities. It’s crucial that you keep sharpening your reasoning skills.

Harappa Education’s course Reasoning Logically, emphasizes on the importance of various types of reasoning. You’ll learn how to become a strategic thinker who can thoroughly analyze situations before tackling a problem. Join the course to learn more about the tools and frameworks that will help you make decisions based on logical reasoning.

Explore topics such as the Cognitive AbilitiesWhat is Logical ReasoningDeductive ReasoningInductive Reasoning & difference between Inductive and Deductive Reasoning from our Harappa Diaries blog section.

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