The Process of Deduction

As sociologist, we conduct research in order to help answer some questions that we have about society. But what steps do sociologists take during a research project? For this blog post, we will be explaining the process of deduction. Let’s use examples that relate to the Tiny Children’s Garden. 

The first step in the process of deduction is finding a theory. Symbolic Interaction is a theory developed by Mead that says the behaviors of individuals is a social process. So people’s behaviors can change based on how they interact with things in society (Reitzes, 1992).

So now that we have a theory we can form a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a question that you can test how things react. For the Tiny Children’s Garden, we are predicting that by building an accessible garden community we think there will be an increase in community involvement in environmental participation.  In other words, we think that the community of Washington Park will come in use and learn from the garden if we build it.

The next step in the process is Data Collection. When setting up a research project there are two types of research, Quantitative and Qualitative. Quantitative is data that can be counted or measured. If we were to apply this to the Tiny Children’s Garden we could count how many people come to the garden and measure how participation in the garden increases or decreases. Qualitative is data that is descriptive. If we were to measure the Tiny Children’s Garden qualitatively we would ask people of Washington Park their opinion of the garden being built. Our data would then be recording whether people liked having the garden built or didn’t like it being built.

After we have collected our data we can report our findings. If we decided to measure the data quantitatively our findings would be the number of people who came to the garden. If we decided to measure the data qualitatively then our findings would be the opinions people had on the garden being built.

From our findings, we can determine if our hypothesis was correct. Since our hypothesis was “we think that there will be an increase in community participation in sustainability if we build a garden”. So if our findings from the data showed that there was an increase in people to the garden, or if we found that when we asked people they said they really liked the garden, then our hypothesis would be supported. But if nobody comes to the garden after it is built or when we ask people about the garden they say they don’t like it then our hypothesis would not be supported.

Lastly, we have the revision of the theory. At the beginning of this process, we based our project on the Symbolic Interaction theory. This theory says that people’s behavior will change with how they interact with things in society (Reitzes, 1992). If our hypothesis was not supported that would mean this theory does not work for this project and we would have to look to a new theory.




That is the process of deduction when conducting a research project. Now that you know the process of deduction … 


How would you set up a research project?


Do you think our hypothesis will be supported? Do you think people’s participation in sustainability will increase if a garden is built?


What else could we add to this project that could support our hypothesis? What could we add to the garden that could help increase community involvement?



Reitzes, D. C., & Reitzes, D. C. 1992. “Saul D. Alinsky: An Applied Urban Symbolic Interactionist.” Symbolic Interaction, 15(1): 1–24.




  • Hayley Winker

    I think that our hypothesis will be supported and that people’s participation in sustainability would increase if a garden is built. To increase community involvement in the garden we could add in other programs and resources besides just growing the vegetables. We can add programs for the children to start them at a young age participating in sustainability and giving them skills, they can carry with them through life. Not only can this project increase sustainably practices in the Washington Park community, it could have the potential to influence neighboring communities as well.

  • Rachel Green

    I believe that individuals are way more likely to participate in sustainable living if they have the resources available to do so. Currently, individuals living in Washington Park are very limited when it comes to sustainability. I think that our hypothesis will be supported, meaning we will increase the participation in community involvement in environmental participation because individuals will have a direct way to sustainability through the project. Individuals in Washington Park will have the space, resources, and help to provide different ways that they can be sustainable. I think that the main reason individuals in a community have such a hard time being healthy and sustainable is because they do not have the space for a garden, the means or knowledge to compost, and the time to take care of these things all by themselves. It is also so hard for them to get any of the resources necessary when they need them because their community is a food desert. I think that this will provide lots of ways individuals can participate in sustainability. Any is better than none! This will also help them to be able to do it on their own one day, guiding us all to a more sustainable future.

  • Arieanna Morris

    I think people want to get involved in their communities, it’s just a matter of creating something that the community can get involved with. Washington Park doesn’t have a community garden yet, and this is an opportunity for people to get involved. A way community members could be encouraged to participate is promoting the community garden. This project is still very new to us and the community. I believe if we reach out to more community members and talk about the garden more, that will increase the community’s involvement in the garden.

  • Amy Yates

    I think that the hypothesis will be supported and that the garden will increase community involvement. However, I don’t know if the sustainability participation will extend past the efforts made at the garden, ie. composting, eating local, etc. I think another way to use the garden to foster community engagement would be to have cooking demos, or samples of some of the less common produce that the garden will provide. I think it would also be a good idea to have people who live around the garden submit their favorite veggie recipes and create a community cook book that could be distributed or sold for a small fee and the money go back into supporting the garden.

  • Breanne

    In regards to your questions Nikki, I believe that our hypothesis for the community garden is that it will not only increase food accessibility, but allow for more community engagement. I also think that people’s engagement with the garden will peak their curiosity about sustainability, even if more people are just aware of the amount of single use plastic, recycling, etc. these will help impact the Earth in a positive way. I think to increase community involvement the word has to spread about the community garden. I think once people hear about the garden, there will be more involvement. I know Derissa talked about a farmer’s market on the site, which could also cultivate community engagement with people wanting to come buy or sell local produce. Like I mentioned earlier, I think a big part of this garden is just getting the word out and having the community be aware of the garden.

  • Danielle Kulina

    “Do you think people’s participation in sustainability will increase if a garden is built?”
    I think in regards to this question that people will need to be given more learning opportunities to bring sustainability home with them from the garden. I think participation in sustainability will increase at the garden site, but I think it will take a little more work to have people use sustainability practices in their everyday life. I think it is our job to help them with resources and ideas to bring more sustainability practices into their homes. Maybe is it something they did not know they could do, or couldn’t afford to do, but with our help and the help of the garden education I think it could be done!

  • Suprasanna Aryal

    I strongly believe that people’s participation in sustainability will increase if a garden is built. A garden requires utmost care and attention if fruits and vegetables are to be grown so more people will be needed to make sure the plants are taken care of. Having a garden means both environmental as well as economic sustainability; the plants and trees grown in the garden require active participation from members for their protection and growth. And growing fruits and vegetables imply economic sustainability for the community.

  • Razan Mansour M

    “What could we add to the garden that could help increase community involvement?” I think we should think more about how can we make community engagement sustainable to The Tiny Children’s Garden? I believe that if we assigned someone in the community to be charged with the garden and allocate assignments to some of the community members. In this case, each individual will feel responsible for a task and be supervised by the garden manager. Also, making events in the garden will increase the engagement of the community. The use of the community talents. For example, if they’re someone who can play a guitar or love to sing can come and make a show in the garden.

  • liaguir

    To answer your question, “How would you set up a research project?”
    The way I would set up a research project is by making a list of questions and key terms surrounded what I want to look into. That has helped me narrow down my topic, what questions I would like to ask and research and most importantly set up a hypothesis (if needed.) Not only does it help narrow down a topic, writing down all my ideas helps visually what I need to take out of my list or focus that way it can make collecting data a bit easier for me.
    Love how you showed the steps and the explanations that come with it as to how most sociologists breakdown their research . It really helps show how research projects in sociology (and even in other fields like psychology, biology, etc.) are broken down and what the data/findings are put together.