What is experience?

The concept of experience is used to name the experience that is gained from a situation. Experiences are those realities that a person lives and that, in some way, change them.

For example: “When I remember my youth experiences, I cannot help but smile”, “I convey my experience on the battlefield so that people know the tragedy of war”, “Psychologists must help the girl to process and assimilate the experience of the massacre he witnessed”. With each experience, the human being registers certain information that will help him, in the future, to face similar situations. In this way, experiences constitute learning.

In the field of psychology, it is understood that experiences are those experiences that mark the personality of the individual. Each subject reacts differently to an external event: according to their ability to react, these events are constituted, or not, as experiences. There are events that, for a person, may be of little importance and therefore are not internally formed as experiences. These same facts, for others, can be very relevant and leave a mark. Consider the case of the death of a pet and the different possible reactions to such a loss. Some personality scholars speak of experiential capacity, a concept that refers to the openness to form new experiences from events that happen in life: the greater this capacity, the more events will leave their mark, and vice versa. Seen from this perspective, there are two variables for the birth of an experience to occur: the subject’s experiential capacity and the depth of the situation he is going through; Needless to say, trivial matters like brewing a cup of tea will rarely become an experience, even for extremely receptive people. Another way in which we can find the concept of experiential capacity, in everyday speech, is “sensibility”; While not synonymous, it is normal for those who seem to be affected by any given situation to be described as “hypersensitive”, while those at the opposite extreme are accused of being “insensitive”. The latter are those who almost never laugh at a joke, or seem to dislike comedy or nature, those who pretend to be above it all, who are not easily impressed by anything or anyone. Artists are the people usually associated with a particularly high level of sensitivity, as they tend to be more in touch with their emotions than usual and therefore seem to perceive nuances of everyday life that others ignore. In any case, a variable must be added to the equation outlined above of experiential capacity plus depth of the situation, and that is the predisposition that each individual has for each type of stimulus.

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If we go back to the example of the death of an animal, it is correct to say that it is a profound event of great magnitude, although it is not enough for it to become an experience for the people with whom it lived: if it is antipathetic beings or with rejection by other species (such as those who claim that animals do not have feelings or do not experience pain), or if their experiential capacity is very low, this event may not mark them. Lastly, Vivencia is the name of an Argentine rock duo formed in 1972. The singers and guitarists Héctor Ayala and Eduardo Fazio are part of this group that had two stages of activities: between 1972 and 1983 and from 2005 onwards.

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