What’s your type? Whether you are looking for love or searching to know yourself better, there’s no shortage of quizzes about the different types of personalities. From astrology to palm-reading to Myers-Briggs – humans love a good personality test. But what about your brain chemicals?
Could dominant neurotransmitters or hormones determine our personalities? Yes, according to biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, a best-selling author and Chief Scientific Advisor to Match.com.
Fisher’s theory is that each person’s personality type is in part determined by his or her dominant brain chemical: a product of the two sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) and two neurotransmitters (dopamine and serotonin). The chemical with the highest activity in your brain is the most influential in determining not only your personality, but who you are likely to fall in love with.
Are you an Explorer, Builder, Director, or Negotiator? Read more to find out.
Explorer (Dopamine) – Creative, curious, adventurous, impulsive, and independent – Explorers are the risk-takers of the personality wheel. Dominated by dopamine, the neurotransmitter that controls rewards and pleasures, Explorers have a high energy level and a profound need for novelty, excitement, and stimulation. According to Fisher, Explorers represent 26 percent of all people. When it comes to love, Explorers are a good match for other Explorers – they need someone who in on the same level of energy and spontaneity.
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Builder (Serotonin) – Builders are dominated by serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is associated with sociability and serenity. Calm, cooperative, cautious, and consistent, they make loyal friends and are quite attached to home and family. Builders make up 28.6 percent of the population. They have low levels of anxiety and a high regard for tradition, making them solid citizens who take care of their community and protect its values. Like Explorers, Builders pair best with their own type – other Builders – for romance. Because they value security and commitment, marriages between two builders have a great chance of success.
Director (Testosterone) – Fueled by the male sex hormone testosterone, Directors are inventive, independent, and assertive. Their personalities are characterized by competitiveness, decisiveness, and rational analysis. Directors set goals and achieve them, and aren’t afraid to go their own way. Women as well as men can be dominated by testosterone; according to Fisher’s research, 9.7 percent of females are Directors (compared to 24.8 percent of men). Directors make the best love match with Negotiators, whose tenderness will complement their tough-minded nature.
Negotiator (Estrogen) – Intuitive, imaginative, and idealistic, Negotiators are dominated by the female sex hormone estrogen. They are introspective, big-picture thinkers who excel in verbal skills, consensus building, and long-term planning. Negotiators shine when it comes to empathy, nurturing, and other social skills. Like Directors, this personality type is not gender-specific; 20.4 percent of men are Negotiators (compared to 35.8 percent of women). Negotiators will have the best luck in love by pairing with Directors, whose decisiveness will complement their ambiguity.
For more information on the four types of brain chemical personalities, read Fisher’s book "Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love", or take the personality type quiz on her dating site, Chemistry.com.
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