Developmental Psychologist

Sabine Doebel | Developmental Psychologist

Sabine Doebel is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. She has a Ph.D. from the Institute of Child Development in Minnesota. Her research focuses on the development of executive function. Sabine was born in Ohio but grew up in a suburb of Toronto, Canada, and despite having lived in the U.S. for 8 years, she still says “sorry” a lot and refers to colored pencils as “pencil crayons.” She lives in Boulder with her husband, Eric, and 18-month-old son/comedian, Vincent.

Peter Singer’s “The Why and How of Effective Altruism.” Extremely compelling, important talk by a great thinker.

What sparks your curiosity?

Human behavior — why people often act in ways that are inconsistent with their ideals, goals, and beliefs. Children — they are so different from adults in so many interesting ways. There’s so much focus these days on parenting and how to best support development, but I also think there is a lot we can learn from children by observing them and engaging with them on their own terms.

What was the biggest change or turning point in your life, and why? Tell us a story!

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to pursue in graduate school. I studied political theory and learned about ideal political systems that were based on assumptions about human nature. That got me wondering more about human nature, so I switched to philosophy. It was fun poking holes in arguments and thinking abstruse thoughts, but I thought the answers to a lot of deep questions might be found by studying how we develop the ability to think those questions. So I became a developmental psychologist.

Hobbies | Passions | Fun Facts

I once took an improv class (I wasn’t very good at it and embarrassed myself a lot, but I met great people); I was an underachiever for some of high school but turned around when the subject material got more interesting to me and I made new friends who were funny, cool, and had their acts together; I have an amazing 18-month-old who is a natural comedian and brings me immense joy every day.

Twitter: @sabine_doebel