A few days ago, my parents and I began discussing the latest episode of "The Celebrity Apprentice", a reality show that features two teams of celebrities competing in business related tasks in order to raise money for charity. As with any reality television show, most of the entertainment comes from contestants clashing with each other for any number of reasons. Every one of the contestants take a different approach in how they deal with people, some act loud and controlling in order to get their point across while others play it low, not wanting to draw attention to themselves.
Continuing with the story, my parents and I were talking about one contestant in particular, Aubrey O'Day, someone known on the show as being very controlling and a "shady" player in general. Both of my parents commented that they think she is a sociopath due to her behavior on the show and that she probably acts that way due to a traumatic experience she had in the past. While I do agree that she acts very cut-throat on the show I reminded them of one of the most important things I've learned in psychology, there's never a one reason explanation to something. Firstly, I'm not sure if someone could become a sociopath through one traumatic experience alone. Secondly, there are a number of alternative explanations that could explain her behavior such as the idea that she only acts this way on the show because she is trying to win, she might be in an unfamiliar setting and doesn't know how to react, etc. I think everyone should try to consider issues from multiple points of view and not fall prey to simplistic explanations for human behavior.
If you'd like to find out more about "The Apprentice", visit www.nbc.com/the-apprentice/