M.A. Psychological & Brain Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis

B.A. Psychology and Hispanic Studies, Pepperdine University

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Twitter: @GabriellePfund

Find Gabrielle on ResearchGate

Research Interests

Couched in personality science, my work examines macro- and micro-level changes in sense of purpose across the lifespan and how these changes connect to social relationships. Some of my most recent research has investigated the way in which purpose predicts weekly domain-specific relationship satisfaction after the college transition as well as within-person variability in daily sense of purpose in older adults. Moving forward, I am interested in understanding the extent to which purpose varies based on how and when the construct is assessed, what other constructs are associated with within-person purpose variability, and the implications of this variability for both purpose development and predicting life outcomes.


Here are some of Gabrielle’s favorite publications:

  • Pfund, G. N., Hofer, M., Allemand, M., & Hill, P. L. (2021). Being social may be purposeful in older adulthood: A measurement burst design. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 
  • Pfund, G. N. (2020). We meet again: The reintroduction and reintegration of purpose into personality psychology. In The Ecology of Purposeful Living Across the Lifespan (pp. 11-28). Springer, Cham.
  • Pfund, G. N., Bono, T. J., & Hill, P. L. (2021). Purpose as a predictor of satisfaction across relationship domains during the first semester of university. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
  • Pfund, G. N., Bono, T. J., & Hill, P. L. (2020). A higher goal during higher education: The power of purpose in life during university. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 6(2), 97.
  • Pfund, G. N., & Lewis, N. A. (2020). Aging with Purpose: Developmental Changes and Benefits of Purpose in Life Throughout the Lifespan. In Personality and Healthy Aging in Adulthood (pp. 27-42). Springer, Cham.

To find out more about her research, check out her Google Scholar!

Current Projects

  • Using three weeks of ecological momentary assessment data with an older adult sample, one of my current projects is seeking to understand the ways in which positive and negative social interactions throughout the day are associated with daily purposefulness both within and between participants.  
  • Building from some of my past work on sense of purpose and romantic relationship quality, I’m currently helping in the design of a dyadic study that will evaluate whether purpose similarity matters for romantic relationship satisfaction. 
  • While there is a robust collection of research that considers individuals sense of purpose levels across the lifespan, research is lacking regarding whether purpose is understood similarly across the lifespan–stay tuned for the future publications of this paper!