What Is Development?

A development is the gradual growth or formation of something. The word is also used to describe good change, especially in social or economic affairs.

The study of development is a broad topic that draws on the theories, research methods, and knowledge bases of many academic disciplines. It covers changes in the physical and neurophysiological processes of humans, the emergence of consciousness, the learning of languages, and the ways in which people grow emotionally and psychologically. The development of countries is usually measured by their gross national income (GNI) per capita, though other factors are often taken into account, such as literacy rates and life expectancy.

In addition to the factors outlined above, developmental researchers also consider many cultural contexts when examining human development. In particular, life span theorists believe that development is a process that takes place within a range of social settings. For example, children learn language as they interact with their parents and other peers. These interactions are influenced by the family and societal environments in which they occur.

Some people, such as Erikson, theorize that different periods in a person’s life present unique challenges that must be overcome in order for a person to become fully functioning adults. These challenges are sometimes referred to as psychosocial crises or stages.

In general, the goal of development is to improve the quality of a person’s life. This is often accomplished by focusing on economic growth, but this alone is not sufficient to accomplish most of the goals of development, which include eliminating poverty and establishing peace.