Oprah Winfrey: a Personality Analysis Using the Cognitive-Experiential Domain

1586 words 7 pages
Oprah Winfrey: Personality Analysis Using the Cognitive-Experiential Domain
Oprah Winfrey was born January 29, 1954, and is the richest African American of the 20th century (Wikipedia, Oprah Winfrey, 2007). Oprah’s talk show is the highest rated talk show in television history with an astonishing 8.4 million viewers daily (Doyle, 2007). Numerous assessments rank Winfrey as the most influential and powerful woman in the world, with a net worth over half a billion dollars (Henley, 2007). In my research paper, I will be discussing the personality of Winfrey using the cognitive-experiential domain. Specifically, I will explore how Oprah’s personality in terms of her emotions, self-concept, and cognition influences her decisions and help
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Winfrey feels strongly that her life should be an example to people of what can be accomplished (Lowe, 1998). Oprah is now able to celebrate her upbringing. She does not think of herself as a poor girl who made it but as somebody who, from an early age, knew she was responsible for herself (Lowe, 1998).
The cognitive-experiential domain is a compilation of the experiences in a person’s life and their perceptions of them (Larson & Buss, 2008). Conscious thoughts of these experiences can cause a person to behave in a manner that can be either beneficial or damaging to one’s future. In this domain, a person cognitively processes information. Here we see people constructing their own ideologies that assist them in reaching their goals. Each person’s construct is unique to his or her essence and perception of the world.
Global self-esteem is a person’s overall perception of oneself (Larson & Buss, 2008). Heatherton & Polivy (1991) subdivided global self-esteem into three factors: performance self-esteem, social self-esteem, and appearance self-esteem. Although Oprah began school at age 5, she insisted on entering first grade (Kluger et al., 2005). The following year Oprah skipped to third grade (Kluger et al., 2005). These are only a few examples of Oprah’s many performance based accomplishments in life. Unfortunately, until around age 40, Oprah