As a biological anthropologist, I’ve spent 30 years trying to understand human nature—what love is; why we marry, divorce, and remarry; and why we choose the partners that we do.
I began to think that we have a biological pull to certain people. I developed a questionnaire designed to measure personality traits associated with certain hormones.
- Dopamine-rich people, whom I call Explorers, tend to be highly curious and creative. They love novelty and risks and tend to be spontaneous, energetic, and flexible.
- The serotonin-rich Builder is social, fond of rules and facts, cautious but not fearful, and very good at managing people and building community.
- Directors express testosterone traits—they’re decisive, analytical, tough-minded, and competitive and understand "rule-based systems," from mechanics to music.
- Negotiators, the high-estrogen type, see the big picture. They’re imaginative, intuitive, nurturing, and good with words and people. We are all a mix of all four personalities, but most of us express predominantly two. I’m predominantly an Explorer and Negotiator.
Fisher’s new book is Why Him? Why Her? (Henry Holt, $25).