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SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: deductive strategy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A process of reasoning sometimes used in archaeology, which goes from the general to the specific, or, from lucky guess to a provable fact. It involves generating hypotheses and then testing them with data. Deductive research is cumulative and involves constant refining of hypotheses. In deductive arguments, the conclusions must be true, given that the premises are true. It is the opposite of inductive approaches, which proceed from specific observations to general conclusions.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hypothetico-deductive explanation, hypothetico-deductive reasoning
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A type of scientific reasoning in which a hypothesis is made, predictions are deduced, and then the hypothesis tested for accuracy against archaeological data. Deductive reasoning is used to find and verify the logical consequences. Developed by Sir Isaac Newton in the late 17th century, it is a procedure for the construction of a scientific theory that will account for results obtained through direct observation and experimentation and that will, through inference, predict further effects that can then be verified or disproved by empirical (observed or experienced) evidence derived from other experiments.

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