International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Don’t Get Me Wrong-Using “Own Experience” and “Proven Experience” in Assignments and Student Texts
Stefan Sellbjer

The aim of this article is to illustrate the ambiguity of the two related expressions “own experience” and “proven experience” by examples taken from home assignments and student texts. First, the “own experience” expression is exemplified in the sense of “acquaintance with” without being necessarily combined with theoretical knowing. With inspiration taken from the theory of knowledge the question of what it may mean when people express their own experience is discussed. Secondly, the concept is related to notions like intelligence, life wisdom and maturity, which are supposedly associated with skill, ability and, possibly, routine. The interpretation suggests understanding the concept as a form of scientific attitude. Thirdly, “proven experience” will be dealt with. This expression is perceived as practice and training, supposedly leading to know-how, expertise and practical knowledge. This section includes references to working life research. The conclusion discusses, with minor digressions on language and memory research, whether it is at all reasonable to use concepts like “own experience” and “proven experience”.

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