William James is generally
touted as the father of experiential psychology. In the philosophical
world, Edmund Husserl (who developed phenomenology) is touted as the
father of the "philosophy of experience" - or at least the modern father.
Since experience is subjective,
psychological methods which seek to elicit and understand subjective
experience need to be used. Thus, the use of psychological
questionnaires and interviews are commonly used in research into
experiential education programs.
Human beings have an unusually large brain, much of which is dedicated to
learning and making adaptations to survive and thrive. Thus, whilst all
animals learn from experience (even plants do!), experiential learning in
humans is a particularly complex and interesting phenomenon.