Personal Characteristics of an Explorer

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The “explorer,” along with the “director,” “builder” and “negotiator,” is one of four personality types developed by anthropologist Helen Fisher, Just as during Shakespeare’s time individuals were believed to be influenced by one of four humors, Fisher suggests that personality types are primarily the result of the influence of a particular chemical. The explorer is a thrill-seeking type, with dopamine the prevailing chemical influence.

Seeks Novelty

Doggedly executing routine tasks is not the explorer's strong suit. These people thrive on a steady stream of new people and places and exotic adventures. For this reason, an explorer is not always the best choice for a long-term committed relationship. If you are in a long-term relationship with an explorer, be prepared to bring the novelty and act as a playmate.

High Energy

Explorers tend to get tired less quickly than others, and thrive in a fast-paced environment. They are often in motion, and if forced to sit still for long periods might become fidgety. The presence of high dopamine levels even can lead to a tendency to drive a car beyond the speed limit, according to Fisher.


People tend to like explorers because they’re fun, charismatic and generous with their time and ideas. The loud humorous person in command at the corner table of your favorite restaurant? The one who just ordered another bottle of wine for the table? That’s probably an explorer. Because explorers are so warm and fun, it’s easy to overlook their flaws.


As adventurers, Explorers need to travel light. A lifestyle filled with novelty often doesn’t leave much room for commitments in the form of exhausting work schedules or demanding family relationships to allow for spontaneity. Because the explorer often takes an unconventional view of life, they’re less likely to be joiners or become a part of a club that encourages group think.