Is there a single word for someone who forms their own opinion based entirely on their personal experience, without having been influenced by any outside source?

  • 9
    What connotation do you want the word to convey: a positive, neutral, or negative connotation?
    – Spinner
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 8:16
  • 1
    Nowadays this is no longer true, but etymologically the word heretic means that, more or less.
    – Gorpik
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 7:12
  • You need to distinguish between someone who is not influenced by the opinions of others, and someone who is not influenced by facts and information from outside his own head. The first is some variation of "free thinker", while the second is in a state of self-imposed ignorance.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 9:03

8 Answers 8


I'd probably use:



You might well be looking for the words "independent thinker".


A related word is autogenic, an adjective indicating something is self-produced. One might apply the term autogenicist to a person who has been informed solely by his or her own experience.

Whatever name you give the self-informed person, autodidact (“A self-taught person; an automath”) is a hypernym of that name. That is, the set of self-informed persons is a subset of the set of autodidacts.

Two previously-suggested terms are useful in spite of being ignored or voted down. Empiricism (“A pursuit of knowledge purely through experience, especially by means of observation and sometimes by experimentation”) is directly relevant, and leads to the suggestion empiricist. Solipsism (“The theory that the self is all that exists or that can be proven to exist” or “Self-absorption, an unawareness of the views or needs of others”) is slightly less relevant, but for someone to be completely self-informed, it is probable that person must be solipsistic or a hermit or deranged or autistic or perhaps a genius.


"He is his own man."

"A self made man."

"A man of the world."

"Educated in the University of Life".



Self obsessed




In some contexts you can use:

Possibly the most controversial feature of the solipsistic worldview is the denial of the existence of other minds. Since personal experiences are private and ineffable, another being's experience can be known only by analogy.



A man that forms his own opinion should be open to hear opinion of the others and then to make his own. How a man can make his opinion without been influenced by any outside source as he has his social and education "environment" by default ? Your question is not exactly clear about that.

My suggestion is open-minded man.

  • Your first sentence is sensible. But open-mindedness is not the same as what OP is asking for; indeed, very many bigoted opinions stem from over-generalising personal experience. Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 22:25

Intuition has the following definitions:

a. an immediate cognition of an object not inferred or determined by a previous cognition of the same object.

b. any object or truth so discerned.

c. pure, untaught, noninferential knowledge. (emphasis mine)

I think you could say that "a person who forms their own opinion based entirely on their personal experience, without having been influenced by any outside source" is intuitional or intuitive.


Unadulterated : (Source)


not mixed or diluted with any different or extra elements; complete and absolute

"He is of an unadulterated mind."


Independent : (Source)


  1. Not governed by a foreign power; self-governing.
  2. Free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; self-reliant
  3. Not determined or influenced by someone or something else; not contingent

"He considers himself an independent, having formed his own thoughts and views without any whispers in his ear."

The above is for your request: "Is there a single word[...]?"

(edits = mine)

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.