现象学的目的是了解受试者如何看待、体验、理解和作用于他们的世界，并与这些理解相关的一系列技巧。（Marton，1996，第。3）为了这样做需要一个范围或经验，可以作为一个系列的参考定位点，受试者走出品种；“我们看到的一切，对我们经验的背景。”（Marton，2006，p. 512）马顿假设实际上是不可能掌握的东西没有经历过替代选择。这需要一个活生生的历史理解和一系列的回忆经验，提供了一个对比时，试图理解或克服新的经验。（Marton，2006，p. 517）现象描述的预测，我们的范围或前人经验的变化将在很大程度上决定在何种程度上我们可以看出（确定什么是值得注意的）和采取行动的新信息，新的设置。正如戴维·福斯特·华莱士所说：“学会如何思考真的意味着学会如何控制你的想法和想法。这意味着要保持足够清醒的头脑来选择你所关注和选择如何建构意义的经验。”（D. F. Wallace、人际沟通、演讲的凯尼恩大学，2005）正是这种主观能力的差异，使得主体转让前学习新经验的洞察力。”这种差异化为适应区分特征或关键差异-可用于区分。
Phenomenology also aims to understand how subjects come to view, experience, understand, and act on their world with a set of skills related to that understanding. (Marton, 1996, para. 3) In order to do so requires a range or variety of experiences that can serve as a series of referential anchor points from which subjects venture out; “we see everything against the background of our experiences.” (Marton, 2006, p. 512) Marton postulates that it is actually impossible to grasp anything without having experienced an alternative option. This calls for a lived historical understanding and a range of recalled experiences that provide a contrast when attempting to understand or grapple with novel experiences. (Marton, 2006, p. 517) Phenomenography would predict that our range or variation of previous experience will largely determine to what extent we can discern (determine what is worth attending to) and act upon new information in novel settings. As David Foster Wallace states, “learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.” (D. F. Wallace, personal communication, Commencement Address Kenyon College, 2005) It is this subjective capacity for discernment of differences that allows a subject to transfer previous learning to new and novel experiences. “This differentiation amounts to becoming attuned to distinguishing features – or critical differences – that can be used for making distinctions.