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Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type [Bargain Price] [Hardcover]

Helen Fisher
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition $9.99  
Hardcover $23.75  
Hardcover, Bargain Price, January 20, 2009 --  
Paperback $14.30  
Audio, CD, Bargain Price $11.98  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $17.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial

Book Description

January 20, 2009 0805082921 1

A groundbreaking book about how your personality type determines who you love

Why do you fall in love with one person rather than another? In this fascinating and informative book, Helen Fisher, one of the world’s leading experts on romantic love, unlocks the hidden code of desire and attachment. Each of us, it turns out, primarily expresses one of four broad personality types—Explorer, Builder, Director, or Negotiator—and each of these types is governed by different chemical systems in the brain. Driven by this biology, we are attracted to partners who both mirror and complement our own personality type.

Until now the search for love has been blind, but Fisher pulls back the curtain and reveals how we unconsciously go about finding the right match. Drawing on her unique study of 40,000 men and women, she explores each personality type in detail and shows you how to identify your own type. Then she explains why some types match up well, whereas others are problematic. (Note to Explorers: be prepared for a wild ride when you hitch your star to a fellow Explorer!) Ultimately, Fisher’s investigation into the complex nature of romance and attachment leads to astonishing new insights into the essence of dating, love, and marriage.

Based on entirely new research—including a detailed questionnaire completed by seven million people in thirty-three countries—Why Him? Why Her? will change your understanding of why you love him (or her) and help you use nature’s chemistry to find and keep your life partner.

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Helen Fisher:

"Fascinating…. An original and uniquely contemporary approach to a sensation that, for millennia, has been considered purely emotional." —The Washington Post on Why We Love

"A thesis with startling ramifications." —The New York Times Book Review on Why We Love

"Delightful to read, offering an abundance of fascinating facts." —The New York Times on Anatomy of Love

About the Author

Helen Fisher, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts on the nature of romantic love and attachment, is the chief scientific adviser to Chemistry.com, a division of Match.com. She is the author of four previous books, two of which—The First Sex and The Anatomy of Love—were New York Times Notable Books. A research professor of anthropology at Rutgers University, she lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 1 edition (January 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805082921
  • ASIN: B002RAR2F2
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Helen Fisher, Ph.D., is one of this country's most prominent anthropologists. Prior to becoming a research professor at Rutgers University, she was a research associate at Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History. Fisher has conducted extensive research on the evolution, expression, and science of love, and her two most recent books, The First Sex and The Anatomy of Love, were New York Times Notable Books. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why do relationships work? February 27, 2009
Is it legitimate to put forth yet another work on personality types? After all, there are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Keirsey Temperaments takes on personality. However, perhaps those formulations did not sink in given the ongoing precarious state of relationships. In this book, the author has constructed a credible model of personality, even if similar to others, which is related to brain chemistry, though that may be the most controversial aspect of her model. Much of the author's supporting data for her model comes from her work with dating services based on responses from thousands.

She defines four basic personality temperaments or traits that exist in all individuals with one being dominate and another secondary. Characteristic of Explorers is tendencies for novelty, enthusiasm, risk-taking, spontaneity, irreverence, adventure, etc. Dopamine is associated with Explorers. Builders are conventional, calm, moral, rule-based, respectful of authority, somewhat cautious, loyal, etc. Serotonin is the chemical that is most closely associated with Builders. Directors are analytical, logical, self-controlled, independent, somewhat competitive, decisive, etc. Testosterone dominates in Directors. Negotiators are very social, intuitive, sympathetic, idealistic, tolerant, agreeable, etc. The author claims that it is estrogen that enables both men and women to have enhanced holistic thinking capability. There seems to be no assertions that one personality is better than another or that such personalities are associated with levels of intelligence.

The author strongly suggests that, if accurately assessed, that these four traits go a long ways toward predicting both attraction and aversion.
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61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I decided to buy the book after seeing Helen Fisher on the Colbert Report. She handled herself well, and gave several intelligent teases to create desire for the book.I'm married, very happily, and thought the book would have some transferable ideas to marketing (my vocation).

Other reviews cover the material in the book.

Let me say first that the backbone of her research has been done before. There are 4 personality types. They have been called many things by different authors. The reason I don't mind that is that the author acknowledges the fact, and provides the source material. She then ties the personality types with brain chemistry, and does it convincingly. I haven't seen that before.

Sure, she mentions her work with two online dating services. But it's part of the story, and to omit that would cheat the reader. Any author worth their salt would mention the work they have done in the past. In fact, her work for these companies is the basis of much of her research.

She includes quotations from philosophers, businesspeople, even Einstein.
These quotations add to the reading by showing what type(personality type, that is) of person thinks in what way.

She includes personal stories that, if they were missing, would make this a harder read.

Some of what she says has been covered before...but there isn't a book written that covers JUST new material. The way I see it, for $20 you got a few hours of intelligent introspection into what makes you the way you are...how others perceive you...and what others will be attracted (and repelled) in you. Certainly worth the price.

By the way, I'm 100% Director, married to a near 100% Negotiator. According to the book, we're a perfect match. And we are.

added 3/04/09 I noticed that most of the bad reviews are for the CD. I read the book. It must be a different experience.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Reading October 16, 2010
By KadyOne
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a seasoned online relationship seeker (with mixed results), I decided to take another approach. I believe there is definitely some science as well as art, luck, and good timing, to finding compatibility. Since I always want to know "why," I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend to anyone who's serious about developing a relationship that stands a chance of lasting more than a few weeks or months. You may not find what you are looking for, but at least you'll have a much better idea of what you "should" be looking for in the first place!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Positive and Modern Update on an Ancient Theory December 19, 2012
What would happen if, when stressed, rather than adopt the defense mechanism of projecting blame and motives onto others we don't know well, we could see the cards they've been dealt or the four clearly described personality types in this book? Regardless of location, we could spot: EXPLORERS (due to dopamine), BUILDERS (serotonin), DIRECTORS (testosterone) and NEGOTIATORS (estrogen). The author points out that the theory of four types, in one form or another, has been around for quite some time:

sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, melancholic (Galen)
hedone, propraietare, dialogike, ethikos (Aristotle)
artistic, sensible, reasoning, intuitive (Plato)
blood, phlegm, yellow bile, black bile (Hippocrates)
manic, depressive, aggressive, oversensitive (Kretschmer)

Her chapter titles for these types are: Drink Life to the Lees, A Pillar of Society, Always the Stars, The Philosopher King. She is very positive and educational in describing these types and I don't think many people will be turned off by her treatment of them. She includes many nice one liners and quotes as well as a mini autobiography of a famous person for each type.

The second half of the book addresses the question posed as the title of the book. She reports that all types can be very happy with any type and that there are dozens of factors from the "nurture" side that are involved in mate selection but from the "nature" side there appears to be a tendency for Explorers to want to be with other Explorers ("play mates"), for Builders to want to be with other Builders ("help mates"), both reflecting like attracts like and birds of a feather, for Directors to want to be with Negotiators and vice versa reflecting how opposites attract.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of money
What a waste of money. She based her theories on the work of others. And, hers were just theories. Another pop psychology book.
Published 9 days ago by Charles Collier
5.0 out of 5 stars ... ourselves and learning how to be that way in love. I love Dr
A most practical and inspiring guide to being ourselves and learning how to be that way in love. I love Dr. Fisher's voice, her theories backed up by sound science. Read more
Published 14 days ago by susan Horgan
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun light read, but nothing particularly in depth
I think I expected to get more out of this read than I actually did. My first introduction to Helen Fisher was actually through her TEDtalk about the science and chemistry of... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Red Clover
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the end all be all but it is interesting
I listened to this on CD in my car. It was worthwhile listening to and if I were single I might check out the Chemistry.com dating site. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Katie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I enjoyed this book...there is a personality test that categorizes the taker into one of 4 groups...I found out that I am a negotiator and adventurer....great book
Published 1 month ago by Eki
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting thesis...
This book aims to help people find their correct partner for love and marriage-the brain chemistry for romantic love. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gary Selikow
5.0 out of 5 stars easy read
each chapter describes the various personality types reading it a ahha moment for me i understand my self better and others t
Published 1 month ago by drwho
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend
The info in this book is based on factual data, that's measurable. It shows that it was well researched. An interesting read, and I would highly recommend it.
Published 1 month ago by Ivett Gabriella
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're an analytical person looking to understand relationship...
I must say: I love, love , love this book. Like most research biologist, I like to understand how systems work and humans are no different to other biological species... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lockeyphage
5.0 out of 5 stars Great author
This author is amazing! She really knows what she is talking about! I would recommend anything she writes. She really puts things into perespetive
Published 3 months ago by Patricia
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