Helen Fisher, PhD


Books that discuss my data on the brain systems associated with one’s basic temperament

Helen Fisher, Ph.D., is one of America’s most prominent anthropologists and the author of six internationally best-selling books on the science of romantic love, attachment, adultery, divorce, and the evolution and future of human family life. She is currently also studying the biological basis of personality and how to use brain science to build teams, spark innovation, lead more effectively and “win friends and influence people” at work, love and life.

ANATOMY OF LOVE: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray

First published in 1992, Helen Fisher’s “fascinating” (New York Times) Anatomy of Love was a New York Times “Notable Book” and became a classic. Since then, Fisher has conducted pioneering brain research (using fMRI) on lust, romantic love, and attachment; gathered data on more than 28,000 people to explain why you love who you love; and collected scientific information on more than 50,000 men and women on sexting, hooking up, friends with benefits, video chatting and other current trends in courtship, sex, love and marriage. So in this second edition, she presents a host of new, scientifically based data on the evolution and future of human social life and an optimistic perspective on relationships in our digital age, what she calls “slow love.”Read More

Why Him? Why Her? How to Find and Keep Lasting Love

Why Him? Why Her? provides a new way to understand relationships—with partners, friends, family, colleagues and clients. The book stems from Fisher’s pioneering work on the biology of personality. She has established that we have evolved four broad, biologically-based styles of thinking and behaving, linked with the dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen systems in the brain. Using these data, she developed the first ever questionnaire based directly on brain physiology: the Fisher Temperament Inventory. This questionnaire has now been taking by over 15 million people in 40 countries and has been validated by two brain scanning experiments (using fMRI). Fisher explains these styles of thinking and behaving so that you can learn much more about yourself.  Then using her data on 28,000 Americans, she explains why you fall in love with one person rather than another, and how to use these data from neuroscience to find, build and sustain happy long-term relationships. Read More

WHY WE LOVE: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love

What ’tis to love? Shakespeare asked. People probably pondered this as they lay around their campfires and watched the stars a million years ago. Anthropologist Helen Fisher and her colleagues have put over 75 men and women into a brain scanner (using fMRI) to understand this ecstasy. Among them: 17 had just fallen happily in love; 15 had just been rejected in love; and 17 were still in love after 21 years of marriage. As Fisher says, “Everywhere in the world people pine for love, live for love, kill for love, and die for love. Romantic love is one of the most powerful brain systems we humans have evolved. Songs, poems, ballets, operas, symphonies, plays, movies, TV series, novels, myths, legends, therapists, even cards and holidays: the world is saturated with the artifacts of this primal human passion.” In WHY WE LOVE...Read More

THE FIRST SEX: The Natural Talents of Women and How They are Changing the World

Why can’t a man be more like a woman? Why can’t a woman be more like a man? Anthropologist Helen Fisher looks closely at gender differences in the brain and behavior that evolved millions of years ago. Then she shows how—as women enter the work force in droves around the world–they are bringing many natural talents and enriching our modern business, sex and family lives. Women are, on average, superior at long term planning, at dealing with ambiguity, at working in egalitarian groups and at finding win-win solutions. They are also....Read More

THE SEX CONTRACT: The Evolution of Human Behavior

Why can a woman have sex all month long, while other mammals, like dogs and cats, have a period of “heat?” Why do the vast majority of men and women fall in love and form a partnership to rear their young, while monogamy (or pair-bonding) is common in only 3% of other mammalian species? In this book, Fisher discusses the evolution of human female sexuality and the origin of the nuclear family—a hallmark of humankind. Fisher also traces the evolution of human language...Read More