Analysis and synthesis are two cognitive processes that fulfill very important functions in scientific research. Analysis and synthesis are not the result of pure and a priori thinking, but have an objective basis in reality and constitute a dialectical pair.
Analysis is a mental procedure by which a complex whole is broken down into its various parts and qualities. The analysis allows the mental division of the whole in its multiple relationships and components.
The synthesis mentally establishes the union between the previously analyzed parts and makes it possible to discover the essential relationships and general characteristics among them. The synthesis is produced on the basis of the results previously obtained in the analysis. It makes possible the systematization of knowledge.
Induction and deduction
Induction is a procedure through which, from singular facts, generalizations are made, which makes it possible to play a fundamental role in the formulation of hypotheses. Some authors define it as a form of reasoning by means of which one passes from the knowledge of particular cases to a more general knowledge that reflects what is common in individual phenomena.
This research process is always linked to the deduction, both are moments of the dialectical knowledge of reality indissolubly linked and conditioned among each other.
The deduction is a procedure that is based on the assertions and generalizations from which particular demonstrations or inferences are made or a form of reasoning, through which one passes from a general knowledge to another of a lower level of generality.
Deductive inferences constitute a chain of statements, each of which is a premise or conclusion that is followed directly according to the laws of logic.
In scientific activity, induction and deduction complement each other. From the study of numerous particular cases, through induction, we arrive at generalizations, empirical laws, which constitute starting points to define or confirm theoretical formulations. Of said formulations
theoretical conclusions are derived, which are subject to experimental checks. Only mutual complementation between these procedures can provide a true knowledge about reality.