The Fisher Personality Test: Do Opposites Attract? 

Wise Readers,

In response to your many queries, next week we’ll be addressing whether and when *opposites* might attract…and whether they can remain together happily as a complementary pair where each completes the other—or whether the dishes suffer over-much in a union where there’s more friction than function.  

Which means it’s time to find out what your personality type is—and whether you are now, or have ever been with, someone whose personality differs substantively from your own.   

The Fisher Personality Test below my signature was developed by the internationally-renowned biological anthropologist named, you guessed it, Helen Fisher.  Author of numerous science-based relationship books, professor at Rutgers University, and the brilliant mind behind the magic at, Dr. Fisher generously consented to a lengthy interview and to allowing us to take her questionnaire here at Love Science.  (And for those of you who want a jump on interpreting your scores or want to take the test in its original locales, please see and Dr. Fisher’s latest book, Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type.)

So grab your pen and paper, take Fisher’s inventory, and compare with a past or current flame.  Then, bring your results to next week’s column.  Can’t wait.



                                         THE FISHER PERSONALITY TEST

Circle your answer next to each question:

SD = Strongly disagree   D = disagree  A = agree   SA = strongly agree


                                            SCALE 1:


1:    I find unpredictable situations exhilarating.    SD    D    A     SA


2:    I do things on the spur of the moment.    SD     D    A     SA


3:    I get bored when I have to do the same familiar things.  SD     D    A    SA


4:    I have a very wide range of interests.    SD    D    A     SA


5:    I am more optimistic than most people.   SD    D     A     SA


6:    I am more creative than most people.   SD    D    A     SA


7:    I am always looking for new experiencesSD    D    A     SA


8:    I am always doing new things.    SD    D    A     SA


9:    I am more enthusiastic than most people.   SD    D    A     SA


10:  I am willing to take risks to do what I want to do.   SD    D    A     SA


11:  I get restless if I have to stay home for any length of time.   SD    D    A     SA


12:   My friends would say I am very curious.     SD    D    A     SA


13:   I have more energy than most people.     SD    D    A     SA


14:   On my time off, I like to be free to do whatever looks fun.  SD    D    A     SA




(See scoring directions at end of test after you have filled out all four sections)




                                                         SCALE 2:


1:    I think consistent routines keep life orderly and relaxing.    SD   D    A    SA


2:    I consider (and reconsider) every option thoroughly before making a plan.  SD   D   A    SA


3:    People should behave according to established standards of proper conduct.  SD    D    A    SA


4:    I enjoy planning way ahead.    SD   D   A    SA


5:    In general, I think it is important to follow rules.   SD   D   A    SA


6:    Taking care of my possessions is a high priority for me.    SD   D    A    SA


7:    My friends and family would say I have traditional values.   SD   D    A    SA


8:    I tend to be meticulous in my duties.    SD   D    A    SA


9:    I tend to be cautious, but not fearful.    SD    D    A    SA


10:   People should behave in ways that are morally correct.    SD    D    A    SA


11:   It is important to respect authority.    SD    D    A   SA


12:   I would rather have loyal friends than interesting friends.    SD    D    A    SA


13:   Long established customs need to be respected and preserved.   SD    D    A    SA


14:   I like to work in a straightforward path toward completing the task.   SD    D    A    SA




                                                SCALE 3:


1:    I understand complex machines easily.   SD    D    A    SA


2:    I enjoy competitive conversations.   SD    D    A    SA


3:   I am intrigued by rules and patterns that govern systems. SD     D    A   SA


4:   I am more analytical and logical than most people.   SD   D    A   SA


5:   I pursue intellectual topics thoroughly and regularly.  SD    D    A    SA


6:   I am able to solve problems without letting emotion get in the way.   SD    D    A    SA


7:   I like to figure out how things work.    SD    D    A    SA


8:    I am tough-minded.    SD    D   A   SA


9:    Debating is a good way to match my wits with others.   SD   D   A   SA


10:   I have no trouble making a choice, even when several alternatives seem equally good at first.                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                 SD    D    A   SA


11:   When I buy a new machine (like a camera, computer or car), I want to know all of its technical features.   SD    D    A   SA


12:  I like to avoid the nuances and say exactly what I mean.     SD   D    A   SA


13: I think it is important to be direct.     SD   D   A   SA


14:  When making a decision, I like to stick to the facts rather than be swayed by people’s feelings.                                                                            

                                                                                                                                 SD    D    A    SA



                                              SCALE 4:


1:   I like to get to know my friends’ deepest needs and feelings.   SD    D    A    SA


2:   I highly value deep emotional intimacy in my relationships.   SD     D    A    SA


3:  Regardless of what is logical, I generally listen to my heart when making important decisions.                                                                                        

                                                                                                                             SD    D     A    SA

4:  I frequently catch myself daydreaming.    SD    D    A    SA


5:  I can change my mind easily.    SD    D    A   SA


6:  After watching an emotional film I often still feel moved by it several hours later.  SD   D   A   SA


7:  I vividly imagine both wonderful and horrible things happening to me.   SD    D   A    SA


8.  I am very sensitive to people’s feelings and needs.  SD    D    A   SA


9:  I often find myself getting lost in my thoughts during the day.   SD   D    A   SA


10:  I feel emotions more deeply than most people.    SD    D   A    SA


11:  I have a vivid imagination.    SD    D     A   SA


12:  When I wake up from a vivid dream, it takes me a few seconds to return to reality.

                                                                                                                                SD    D   A   SA


13: When reading, I enjoy it when the writer takes a sidetrack to say something beautiful or meaningful.     SD    D    A    SA


14:  I am very empathetic.   SD    D    A    SA



 Scoring:  To Score the test, give yourself:

0 points for each answer of “strongly disagree;”

1 point for each answer of “disagree;”

2 points for each answer of “agree”

3 points for each answer of “strongly agree.”

Then add up the number of points in each of the four scales; but do not add all the points of all scales together.


Scale 1 measures the degree to which you are an Explorer.

Scale 2 measures the degree to which you are a Builder. 

Scale 3 measures the degree to which you are a Director. 

Scale 4 measures the degree to which you are a Negotiator.


The scales with the two top scores are your primary and secondary types.  For example, if you had 32 points on Scale 1, 23 points on Scale 2, 19 points in Scale 3, and 27 points in Scale 4, you are an Explorer/Negotiator.


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Reader Comments (2)

I did this test and my highest score was the "Negotiator" and the second highest was "Builder". Can't wait to read what all this means because my husband and I are quite different. However, we are still in the same boat which already has gone through many storms of the 13.5 years of marriage.
Anyways, I am patiently but also anxiously awaiting your great article.

December 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

Sonya, the new article regarding Opposite Personalities is up today. From one Negotiator/explorer to a Negotiator/builder--enjoy! May it help you, and please feel free to join in the discussion in the comments section. Cheers, Duana

December 16, 2009 | Registered CommenterDuana C. Welch, Ph.D.
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