Development is the process of growth, change and improvement over time. This can apply to individuals, groups or countries. Development is about improving the lives of people, but it also involves the environment and economy.
For example, an organization can develop new technology that makes it more productive. This can help its employees save time or work more efficiently. It may also be able to offer additional services to customers or clients. Development can also refer to the process of learning new skills or ways of thinking.
The concept of development is based on many different theories and approaches. The most well-known is the lifespan perspective, which recognizes that change occurs throughout an individual’s lifetime. This theory holds that no one stage of life is more important than another.
Other theories, such as the sociocultural model, link human development to the society and culture in which people live. For example, a person who is exposed to negative role models as a child may be at a disadvantage later in life.
Some researchers, such as Piaget and Erikson, believe that humans play an active role in their own developmental processes. Others, such as behavioralists, believe that humans are largely passive in their evolution. The debate between these two approaches is sometimes referred to as the active/passive versus innate/external vs. cultural/environmental controversies.