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Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 20, 2009

ISBN-13: 860-1400729038 ISBN-10: 0805082921 Edition: 1st

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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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #539,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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

This is a very good and interesting book for the most part.
Jon Beckmon
When it got to the relationship advice, it sounded a lot like things we already know.
Sherry Berry
The author proposes in her book that there are four main personality types.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 82 people found the following review helpful By J. Grattan VINE VOICE on February 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By claude whitacre on February 26, 2009
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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reviewer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Fisher served as a consultant for the dating site Chemistry.c0m before it launched in February 2006. She helped to build the site by designing a questionnaire for singles and devising a "scientific" system through which these singles are classified and matched based on their responses to the questionnaire. In Why Him Why Her, Fisher talks about the principles behind this matching system, which I will briefly explain here:

The questionnaire is used to determine how closely a person conforms to each of four personality types: (1) Explorer (2) Builder (3) Director (4) Negotiator. A person has a primary personality type and a secondary personality type. For example, a person may be foremost a Director (her primary personality type) and then a Builder (her secondary personality type).

Some traits that stand out for:
(1) an Explorer: risk taker, enthusiastic, curious, spontaneous, impulsive, susceptible to boredom, etc.
(2) a Builder: cautious, loyal, traditional, orderly, predictable, tenacious, meticulous planner, etc.
(3) a Director: bold, direct, logical, analytical, exacting, focused, etc.
(4) a Negotiator: imaginative, intuitive, harmony-loving, empathetic, etc.

Explorers tend to seek Explorers, Builders tend to seek Builders, Directors tend to seek Negotiators, and Negotiators tend to seek Directors. In light of this, the question of whether attraction is based on similarity (like attract like) or complementarity (opposites attract) becomes moot. According to Fisher, if you're an Explorer or a Builder, you're attracted to a someone just like yourself; if you're a Director or a Negotiator, you're attracted to someone who is unlike (or who complements) you.

Fisher also explains the bio-chemistry behind each personality type.
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