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Brain info linked to love that lasts

BY HEATHER WARLICK Modified: January 29, 2009 at 5:35 am •  Published: January 29, 2009

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Is your ring finger longer than your index finger? You might be a Builder. Are you a Democrat? So are many Explorers. Negotiators are skilled at emotional expression and dealing with people, and Directors are competitive and want to be the top dog.

Says who? Says Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist who has been studying love and personalities 30 years. Through a questionnaire of 40,000 people she created for, she concluded there are four predominant personality types and that genetic traits determine the types.

"I’ve written five books; I’ve worked on love for over 30 years, and I finally understand people ... on a level I never thought I would,” she said. "I also understand why various relationships just never end up really working.”

In her latest book, "Why Him? Why Her?,” Fisher reveals the results of her two most recent studies. One defines personality types and the other describes the nuances of romantic relationships between people of different and the same personality types.

But before you can analyze your relationship based on your personality type, you have to learn what type you are.

Your personality type, Fisher says, has everything to do with your brain chemistry. In Builders, serotonin is more prevalent. Explorers show higher levels of dopamine. Estrogen and testosterone influence the personality traits of Negotiators and Directors, respectively.

"What was surprising was how real these patterns are,” Fisher said.


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