Why Him Why Her Helen Fisher Personality Test -Understanding Your Personality Type

Why Him? Why Her? Why Him? Why Her? – Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type” by Helen Fisher has been the topic of conversation around the net since the release of Helen Fisher’s book on January 20, 2008. Appearing on ABC’s 20/20, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher (who has been studying love for 30 years) studied 28,128 people to analyze why men and women are attracted to each other based on four personality types, then put the test results in her new book Why Him Why Her (Henry Holt).

After researching why people fall in love with one person rather than another, Fisher and her colleagues Arthur Aron and Lucy Brown, came to believe men and women are a combination of four personality types associated with four specific neurotransmitters and hormones: The Explorer (dopamine), The Builder (serotonin), The Director (testosterone) and The Negotiator (estrogen).

Helen Fisher conducted her love lab research at Chemistry.com, an affiliate of Match.com, which is largest online dating service on the web. Included in Fisher’s book is the Helen Fisher personality test questionnaire and results (taken by over 7 million people worldwide so far) to help readers determine their own personality type and how your personality type influences who you fall in love with.

In a Helen Fisher interview, The Explorer (dopamine) is described as adventurous, novelty-seeking, creative. The Builder (serotonin) is cautious, conventional, managerial. The Director (testosterone) is aggressive, single-minded, analytical. The Negotiator (estrogen) is empathetic, idealistic, a big-picture thinker. Which personality type are you? Does your personality type guide who you love, or not? Do opposites attract or there something else going on?

Helen Fisher Why Him Why Her Video

Who Loves Whom and Why?

According to the personality test results of Helen Fisher’s mate study, some people are attracted to their opposites and some are attracted to their matches. “We know that you tend to fall in love with somebody from your same socioeconomic background, same general level of intelligence, same general level of good looks, same religious values,” Fisher said. “We tend to fall in love with somebody who can give us what we need in exchange for giving them what they need. Timing is important, proximity is important.”

Explorers are attracted to other Explorers because they crave excitement; they want optimism, impulsivity and curiosity in their partner. The Explorer/Explorer match is generally strong because Explorers love adventure and want a partner to share their spontaneity. But this match can have problems. Since both are willing to tolerate risks, two Explorers can find themselves in disastrous situations. And Explorers are not usually very introspective so the pair often avoids difficult discussions.

Like Explorers, Builders are attracted to each other. They are most likely to marry each other, to say they are happy in their marriage and less likely to divorce than other combinations. Builders like bringing people and community together and enjoy working together. They are successful at building large circles of close friends, making sensible decisions about money, family and feelings together and value security above almost everything.

Unlike Builders and Explorers who are often attracted to people of their own type, Directors and Negotiators are often drawn to each other. They compliment each other as Negotiators see the big picture while Directors focus on smaller pieces of the puzzle. Negotiators are skilled at seeing all angles without taking action and Directors are decisive yet don’t often analyze ancillary data. The two types are also compatible socially. Negotiators are good at smoothing over Directors’ inappropriate comments and Directors admire the diplomatic nature of Negotiators.

Difference Between Men and Women

3 Months for the Price of 1
When discussing the difference between men and women, Fisher says there are two more chemicals that should be mentioned, besides dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen. “Norepinephrine, a chemical closely related to dopamine, undoubtedly contributes to some of the Explorer’s traits, especially their energy and impulsivity. And oxytocin—a chemical synthesized, stored and triggered (in large part) by estrogen—most likely plays a role in the Negotiator’s compassion, nurturing, trust and intuition”, says Fisher.

Dr. Fisher says, “In fact, families of chemicals produce the Explorer, Builder, Director and Negotiator. The specific activities of any one chemical are not as significant as the ratios and interactions among all of them and several other neural systems. Nevertheless, only dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen have been directly associated with a wide range of personality traits. So variations in these four chemicals most likely form the foundation of these four basic styles of thinking and behaving. But does your personality type guide who you love? I decided to find out”.

Dr. Helen Fisher’s personality test results appear to prove that people do not necessarily fall in love with people of the same personality types, despite the common wisdom that we should find dates that share our interests. Instead, individuals fall head over heels for those who complement their personality type and who reflect their type.

Why Him Why Her shows how we seek a person with whom we have a natural chemistry connection, grounded on the chemical systems that manifest themselves in the four personality types. Take the personality test to find out which of the Helen Fisher personality types describe you. Are you The Explorer? The Builder? The Director or The Negotiator? Do you agree with the results from your quiz?

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8 Responses to “Why Him Why Her Helen Fisher Personality Test -Understanding Your Personality Type”

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  1. Todd Morris says:

    Hi Lin,

    I saw this on 20/20 the other night. Well, I “saw” it the way I see most TV shows these days … glanced at it from across the room while I worked at my laptop.

    I thought it was a pretty interesting theory.

    Reading your descriptions above, I would guess that Ana and I are most likely a director (her) / negotiator (me) mix. I guess I should go take the test to confirm it though … or maybe not, I don’t need to sign up for a dating site anymore … will just have to trust my instinct.


    • Lin says:

      Hi Todd,

      I find it kinda fascinating. Like you, I feel it’s an interesting theory to have some fun with and consider as a possibility. There will surely be some (many?) naysayers who feel the book and test are “junk science” or something along those lines. Oh well, it’s an interesting idea nonetheless.

  2. wilson says:

    It’s about the same theory of, “Men from Mars and women from Venus”, Lin.

  3. Alan McCrindle says:

    My observation is that these 4 types match the Myers Briggs types and the developmental Stages/ Values in Spiral Dynamics.

    This is probably most easily captured on the Kiersey .com website

    Artisans = Explorers = Red = Dopamine
    Guardians = Builders = Blue = Serotnin
    Rationals = Directors = Orange = Testosterone
    Idealists = Negotiators = Green = Estrogen / oxytocin

    • Sabrina says:

      I noticed the EXACT same thing. I am in the middle of listening to the book now and was thus far a bit annoyed that the face this was not mentioned. It may be mentioned in the credits. If you add Don Lowrey’s True Colors then you’d also have Orange, Gold, Green, Blue. Keirsey’s latest book Personology looks at the brain’s structure and couples personality to biology and the roles we play in society.


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