Discover Your "Type" (It Really Exists)

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helen fisher personality type
In dating and marriage personality type determines who makes a good match, says Helen Fisher.

How did you come up with the four personality types?
I looked at the genetic literature and as it turns out there are only a few chemicals that seem to be directly related to personality traits. I came to believe we've evolved four very broad personality styles associated with the chemicals dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, and estrogen and oxytocin. And these four chemical types I call the Explorer, the Builder, the Director, and the Negotiator. On Chemistry.com, the dating site that I built with Match.com, I studied 40,000 people to figure out more about these four basic types.

The Explorer, who expresses activity in the dopamine system, tends to be risk-taking, novelty-seeking, curious, creative, spontaneous, energetic, enthusiastic, optimistic.

The second type is the Builder, who expresses with serotonin. These people are calm, social, popular, cautious, but not fearful. Very managerial, they're very good at networking, family's very important to them. They're traditional, conventional, often religious.

The third type is the Director, expressive of testosterone. They're direct, decisive, tough-minded and often understand music very well because music is very structural. They're competitive, ambitious and very good at spatial relations. 

The fourth type is the Negotiator, expressive of estrogen—both men and women can be expressive of estrogen. These people see the big picture. They're very flexible, imaginative and intuitive. They're compassionate and verbal.

So, how do these personality types and their chemistry influence who we date or marry?
And as it turns out, Explorer types tend to be drawn to people like themselves. They want somebody who's energetic and enthusiastic, adventurous, curious, creative. The Builder types, who are traditional, cautious, very skilled socially, into their family, they also go for people like themselves.

But the Director—the high testosterone type—goes for high estrogen. And the high estrogen goes for high testosterone. And I think a very good example of that is Hillary and Bill Clinton. She's direct, she's decisive, she's tough-minded. She doesn't have the people skills that her husband has. And she's drawn to a man who's gracious, verbal, compassionate, and he's drawn to her.

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