The effect of a group or atom of a compound in pulling electrons towards itself or in pushing them away. Inductive effects can be used to explain some aspects of organic reactions. For instance, electron-withdrawing groups, such as –NO2, –CN, –CHO, –COOH, and the halogens substituted on a benzene ring, reduce the electron density on the ring and decrease its susceptibility to further (electrophilic) substitution. Electron-releasing groups, such as –OH, –NH2, –OCH3, and –CH3, have the opposite effect. See also electronic effects.