Ideally, deduction is the basis of research in the social sciences. Deduction is the process of taking a theory and testing hypotheses based on that theory.
There are many examples of how deduction can be used in social science research. Here are two examples:
- In the field of International Relations, there is a theory that says that democracies are inherently more peaceful than other types of governments. One can deduce from that theory that democracies would be less likely to fight with one another. Researchers have, based on that theory, looked at all the wars in recent history to try to evaluate that hypothesis.
- In the field of economics, there is a theory that minimum wage laws are bad for less-skilled workers. From that comes a hypothesis that an increase in the level of the minimum wage would lead to a decrease in employment among those types of workers. Economists have done research to evaluate that hypothesis by looking at employment in states before and after they raise their minimum wages.