General

Difference between Inference and Observation

Main difference

The main difference between inference and observation is that inference is the method that includes the brain as an observer while observation is a method that includes all five senses of a human being.

Inference versus observation

Inference is based on evidence and reasoning, while observation is based on paying close attention to something to get information. Inference is usually a mental process, while observation has all five senses. Inference is the explanation of observations or interpretation; on the other hand, observation helps to arrive at an inference. The inference may be based on second-hand experience; rather, observation is first-hand experience. The nature of the inference is subjective; on the contrary, the nature of the observation is objective. Inference is an assumption or explanation of someone’s observations; conversely, observation is what one perceives. Inference involves deciding the collected information; on the other hand,

Chart comparison

Inference Observation
Inference is generally a conclusion reached based on reasoning and evidence. Observation is the general action of paying close attention to something in order to gain some knowledge and information.
Senses
Usually a mental process Includes all five senses
Interdependence
The description of the observations or the interpretation help reach an inference
Experience
May be based on second-hand experience First-hand experience
based on
Based on evidence and reasoning Based on paying close attention to something to gain information
Nature
Subjective Target
What is it?
An assumption or explanation of what one has perceived. What one perceives alone
involves
It involves deciding the information collected Gathering information and knowledge without questioning respondents
it implies
Assuming logically a conclusion by reasoning Careful checking of the subject under study

What is inference?

Inference is the conclusion of something that is drawn on the basis of observations. Inference can be taken as a logical explanation or interpretation of someone’s observation. Inference can be made rationally based on observations and facts. Inference is normally considered a part of reasoning that could be inaccurate or precise, justified or unjustified, logical or illogical at times. For example, if someone sees a rainbow in the sky and then jumps to the inference that it is going to rain soon. Like, imagine a situation where someone is talking to a friend about something, and that person can observe the change in your tone, mood, and body language and can interfere with how their friend is feeling. Inference and observation are interconnected and will not stand alone. Inference is always made from evidence, facts, and observations collected by someone else. Although the inference is not 100% accurate every time someone observes, sometimes someone understands from the other’s actions that they may be inaccurate or illogical. For example, someone might watch a neighbor’s house burn and quickly conclude that the house is on fire, but in reality, the burn could be due to a huge fire your neighbor has set in their graveyard. But the inference can also be accurate, and your good example is a mirage. In statistics, inference includes two things, and that is hypothesis testing and estimation. The nature of the inference is subjective and may be based on second-hand experience. Inference is usually a mental process that involves the brain. someone understands the other actions that may be inaccurate or illogical. For example, someone might watch a neighbor’s house burn and quickly conclude that the house is on fire, but in reality, the burn could be due to a huge fire your neighbor has set in their graveyard. But the inference can also be accurate, and your good example is a mirage. In statistics, inference includes two things, and that is hypothesis testing and estimation. The nature of the inference is subjective and may be based on second-hand experience. Inference is usually a mental process that involves the brain. someone understands the other actions that may be inaccurate or illogical. For example, someone might watch a neighbor’s house burn and quickly conclude that the house is on fire, but in reality, the burn could be from a huge fire your neighbor has made in his graveyard. But the inference can also be accurate, and his good example is a mirage. In statistics, inference includes two things, and that is hypothesis testing and estimation. The nature of the inference is subjective and may be based on second-hand experience. Inference is usually a mental process that involves the brain. the burn is due to the huge fire that his neighbor has made in his cemetery. But the inference can also be accurate, and your good example is a mirage. In statistics, inference includes two things, and that is hypothesis testing and estimation. The nature of the inference is subjective and may be based on second-hand experience. Inference is usually a mental process that involves the brain. the burn is due to the huge fire that his neighbor has made in his cemetery. But the inference can also be accurate, and his good example is a mirage. In statistics, inference includes two things, and that is hypothesis testing and estimation. The nature of the inference is subjective and may be based on second-hand experience. Inference is usually a mental process that involves the brain.

What is observation?

Observation is the procedure of paying close attention to someone or something in order to gain information and knowledge about that specific person or thing. The observation is done using the five senses that a human being has: the sense of smell, the sense of sight, the sense of hearing, the sense of touch, the sense of taste. If we observe the change of seasons, we could observe how the smells change, how the leaves change color and how there is a difference in temperature. All these observations conclude that summer is approaching. The nature of observation is objective and observation is first-hand experience. Observation is the collection of information and knowledge without questioning the respondents, and it is the attentive control of the subject under study.

Furthermore, the observation is based on current events and is not influenced by past or future attitudes or intentions. It may be disguised or undisguised, structured or unstructured, and may take place in a natural or artificial environment. According to some scientific observations, there are two main types of observation: qualitative observation and quantitative observation.

Observation Types

  • Qualitative observation: This observation describes the quality of an object, shape, color, size, etc.
  • Quantitative Observation: This observation consists of information on height, weight, numbers, etc.

Key differences

  1. Inference is generally a method that is based on evidence and reasoning, while observation is the process based on paying close attention to something in order to gain knowledge and information.
  2. Inference is usually a mental process using the brain, while observation involves all five senses.
  3. Inference is the explanation or justification of observations or interpretation; on the other hand, observation helps to arrive at an inference.
  4. The inference may be based on second-hand experience; rather, observation is first-hand experience.
  5. The nature of the inference is subjective; on the contrary, the nature of the observation is objective.
  6. Inference is an assumption or explanation of what has been assumed; conversely, observation is what one perceives.
  7. Inference involves deciding the collected information; on the other hand, observation is the gathering of information and knowledge without questioning the accused.
  8. Logically pretentious inference is a conclusion by reasoning, while observation is careful checking of the subject under study.

Final Thought

The above discussion concludes that inference is the method that involves the brain and is based on second-hand experience, while observation is a process that involves all five senses and includes first-hand experience.

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