What Is Development?

Development is the act of creating growth, progress and positive change. This can be a slow process or it can happen quickly, like a company relocating to a bigger office. The term can also be used in an abstract sense, like the evolution of a new technology or a scientific discovery.

Human development is the scientific study of changes and stability in all aspects of functioning throughout the lifespan, from infancy to old age. It also includes cognitive and emotional well-being. Some of the most common topics in developmental science include brain and neural development, personality development, moral and ethical behavior, physical changes from maturation and aging, and socio-cultural processes such as identity formation.

A country’s level of development is based on the economy and quality of life for its population. It can be measured by things such as GDP per capita, life expectancy, and educational achievement. The higher the number of these indicators, the more developed a nation is considered.

Some of the most popular theories about development involve either nature or nurture, whether a person’s traits are determined by genes or environmental factors. Mechanistic meta-theory assumes that people are like machines, changing the same way each time they do so, whereas other theorists, such as Vygotsky and information processing theorists, believe that humans are active participants in their own development. They can choose what to learn and are open to different experiences, which is why they don’t always follow a set pattern of development.