National Press Club

uthor of "Why Him? Why Her?" Explains the Mystery

February 13, 2009 | By Jack Williams

Helen Fisher offers insight into love choices

Helen Fisher offers insight into love choices

Photo/Image: Darlene Shields

Science is illuminating some of the mysteries of love, said author Helen Fisher at an NPC book event on Feb. 11. Fisher discussed her new book "Why Him? Why Her? " with attendees who filled the Zenger Room.

Fisher, who is a biological anthropologist, talked about her analysis of patterns of attraction among 28,000 men and women who responded to a survey, as well as data from neurochemistry, genetics, and personality studies. This work helps explain, "Why do you fall in love with someone and not another," she said.

Fisher said people tend to be one of four broad personality types, which are determined by the balance of different brain chemical systems, including which system dominates. Her book explores the characteristics of each type and how these traits affect long-term relationships. She said everyone has some characteristics of all four personality types.

She gave examples of the four broad personality types:

Explorer: Born free, curious, creative, risk-taker...President Obama is an example.

Builder: Calm, traditional, conventional, pillar of society...Colin Powell is an example.

Director: Analytical, tough-minded, competitive, independent...John McCain is an

Negotiator: Idealistic, people skills, imaginative, empathetic...Bill Clinton is an

Fisher called each person's biological temperament "the funnel of love."