“Why can’t people just Think ??” – Sherlock Holmes

Many of us students who are always on the lookout for new and interesting shows ‘might’ have come across BBC’s   Sherlock. Some people might have read the books too.

The way Sherlock is portrayed  there and the amazing things that he can do

( for  example- Telling what a person was doing 2 hours back by simply looking at his hands)

Probably fascinates many. And many of us start to wonder ‘Maan ….I wish I could do stuff like these’

Then you’re in luck! , One can do most of these things and much more by something called “The Science of Deduction”. Or you may call it “Inductive Reasoning”

As the name suggests, it is a method to deduce something (like what the person was doing) by clues present on said person.

Now  let’s divide this science into two parts

You could start off by training yourself to observe more details and remember them.
One of the ways you can do this is shown in the Series (though not as awesome as BBC’s Sherlock still good enough ).

You could do this by listening to the conversations of different people at a class, canteen,  hotel or a cafe. Other practice scenarios can be, observing the placement of different things in your room, observing different people who come visit your rooms in the hostel and trying to remember what they were wearing at that time. Seriously!! The trick is just observing and then trying to remember it afterwords.



2) Deduction (or) Reverse Engineering.

This is the tricky part!!

You have to remember that your deductions mainly depend on your knowledge of different things and how you would generalize your observations about a particular person or a scene.
(For example – consider the most common deduction of a person looking at his/her watch, anyone can guess that the person is impatient or bored. But, if you look in an another way, the person might be shy in front of others and merely avoiding eye contact) Try to guess the big picture instead of jumping to a conclusion.


The more the no. of similar observations you make, more stronger your deduction  is. For this a bit of knowledge in many things is necessary. Certain deductions can also be made based on a person’s behavior and conversations.
For example – Knowing that eyes tend to look up when someone one is lying about recalling something and that eyes tend to look sideways if they are telling the truth……etc


Let me give you an example of Inductive reasoning-

Ajay has items positioned around his apartment in way more convenient for a left handed  person than a right handed person.

Ajay was left handed.

Ajay was shot in the right side of the head.

Left handed   people do not shoot themselves in the right side of the head.

Ajay did not shoot himself.

Ajay was murdered.

Though there are many holes in this logic, but you get the gist right??

Some Tips-

1) Don’t React, rather stop and critically analyze situations.

This will stop you from being biased.


2) Critically observe including what might seem unimportant details

Before critically thinking, you must critically observe.

“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.”
Sherlock Holmes

3) Don’t suppose, rather see what’s actually in front of you.

Don’t think of what you think should be, but what is.

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
Sherlock Holmes

4) Be critical, not emotional

It might not feel right, but it might be right. Don’t think linearly, but consider a range of possibilities.

“Random quote”   – by Sherlock Holmes obviously (Try deducing this for a test)

You might also consider doing riddles, crosswords, sodoku and other puzzles, and studying geometry.


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