Interpretation of Experiences: The Importance of Meaning in Our Lives

Interpreting an experience is the process of assigning meaning to what we live and experience. When we ask how we arrived at a certain sense, we present details that confirm our interpretation. Professionals may receive graphs, tables, reports, and manuals, but when asked to give meaning to this experience, they must offer an interpretation.

Meanings are the results of professional and academic interpretations, comparisons and summaries, relationships between behavior and positive or negative results. Whenever there is a reaction to the experience, it is possible to verify the inferences about the facts to evaluate whether they confirm the interpretation.

Interpreting experiences is also a valuable skill for personal development. By interpreting our own experiences, we can learn more about ourselves and have a clearer vision of our path. Interpretation also allows us to organize our thoughts and learn from our experiences, enabling us to grow and evolve.

Therefore, interpreting experiences is a valuable skill for professionals and people in general. It is important to learn how to interpret clearly, precisely, and objectively, and to always stay updated to have a clear view of the facts. The guidance of a competent instructional designer can be valuable in enhancing this skill. Nevertheless, the instructional designer must remember certain particularities of interpretation and its use in learning solutions.

Limitations in Inferences

Many inferences need to be limited, and sometimes we add words like “probably” or “perhaps” to emphasize the degree of certainty. Other times, our inference is very secure, and our language reflects that degree of conviction. In some cases, there may be little clear sense that can be attributed to an experience, and we say that the data is excessively limited.

Tendencies for Generalizations and Causal Attributions

Both in children and adults, there is a tendency to generalize from insufficient evidence. Additionally, there is a tendency to attribute causality, validity, and representativeness to data, even if these qualities can be questioned. Professionals may use unjustified analogies and metaphors and make extrapolations for the future. They may also attribute meanings to words, behaviors, and attitudes with an unjustified conviction based on obtained data. The higher the position of a professional in a company, the less opposition and challenges they will encounter for their interpretations.

Order of Description and Meaning

Sometimes, when interpreting, we initially describe and then explain the meaning we perceive. Often, we separate our interpretations into those we are certain of, probably correct, and “guesses” - possible meanings but that go beyond the available facts.

Content Curation by Instructional Designers

Instructional designers curate content that includes articles with data and conclusions from the authors, and deliver this material to professionals. Before delivering them, the instructional designer ensures, together with the SME, that professionals receive only the facts and the learning objective. Then, professionals are asked to describe what they can see in the data, and later, materials are provided with the inferences made by the author from the same evidence. In this case, professionals have the opportunity to compare their interpretations with those of the author and begin to see the limits of what can be said from a set of facts. This is an excellent exercise for the development of intelligent life and helps to have greater respect for the facts and their necessity.

Trainings that Encourage Disrespect for Facts

In some trainings, professionals engage in dynamics, and if the results do not agree with the model, they tend to change what they learned and change their opinion. Professionals learn that they should obtain answers similar to those presented by the model, which tends to have little respect for what they saw, thought, and experienced. The difference and disagreement with the model can lay the groundwork for thinking more, but often, it is not interpreted that way.

Outdated Models and the Importance of Updated Content

Most models are outdated and need to be supplemented with currently valid materials. When dealing with updated data of all types, professionals acquire important facts for their professional lives and for companies. The accumulation of meanings increases the richness of life.

Opportunity to Interpret Significant Data

It is important to ask ourselves how often we give our professionals the opportunity to interpret significant data. When we ask them to interpret unimportant aspects as a task instead of an opportunity to organize their thoughts, we overlook the potential of this thinking process. Under the guidance of a competent, well-informed, and patient instructional designer, learning to interpret experiences is an important milestone in development. It is important to highlight that interpreting experiences is a valuable skill for professionals in all fields, as it allows for a clearer view of the facts and a deeper understanding of the meaning of data.

The Importance of Correct Interpretation

Correct interpretation of data is essential for making precise and effective decisions. When we interpret incorrectly, we risk making misguided decisions that may negatively affect our professional or business life. Therefore, it is important to learn to interpret clearly, precisely, and objectively, avoiding hasty judgments or unfounded generalizations.


In summary, interpreting experiences is an important process for professional and personal development. It is a valuable skill that allows for a clearer view of the facts, a deeper understanding of the meaning of data, and the ability to make precise and effective decisions. The guidance of a competent instructional designer can be valuable in enhancing this skill and making it a valuable tool for professional and personal success.