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- Development: Meaning and Concept of Development
- About Human Development
- Developmental Psychology
- What is Development?
Development: Meaning and Concept of Development
By Saul McLeod , updated Developmental psychology is a scientific approach which aims to explain growth, change and consistency though the lifespan. A significant proportion of theories within this discipline focus upon development during childhood, as this is the period during an individual's lifespan when the most change occurs.
Developmental psychologists study a wide range of theoretical areas, such as biological, social, emotion, and cognitive processes. Empirical research in this area tends to be dominated by psychologists from Western cultures such as North American and Europe, although during the s Japanese researchers began making a valid contribution to the field. To describe development it is necessary to focus both on typical patterns of change normative development and individual variations in patterns of change i.
Although there are typical pathways of development that most people will follow, no two persons are exactly alike. Developmental psychologists must also seek to explain the changes they have observed in relation to normative processes and individual differences. Although, it is often easier to describe development than to explain how it occurs. Finally, developmental psychologists hope to optimize development, and apply their theories to help people in practical situations e.
Think about how children become adults. Is there a predictable pattern they follow regarding thought and language and social development? Do children go through gradual changes or are they abrupt changes? Normative development is typically viewed as a continual and cumulative process. The continuity view says that change is gradual. Children become more skillful in thinking, talking or acting much the same way as they get taller.
The discontinuity view sees development as more abrupt-a succession of changes that produce different behaviors in different age-specific life periods called stages. Biological changes provide the potential for these changes.
These are called developmental stages-periods of life initiated by distinct transitions in physical or psychological functioning. Psychologists of the discontinuity view believe that people go through the same stages, in the same order, but not necessarily at the same rate.
When trying to explain development, it is important to consider the relative contribution of both nature and nurture. Developmental psychology seeks to answer two big questions about heredity and environment:. Nature refers to the process of biological maturation inheritance and maturation. One of the reasons why the development of human beings is so similar is because our common specifies heredity DNA guides all of us through many of the same developmental changes at about the same points in our lives.
Nurture refers to the impact of the environment, which involves the process of learning through experiences. Stability implies personality traits present during infancy endure throughout the lifespan. In contrast, change theorists argue that personalities are modified by interactions with family, experiences at school, and acculturation.
This capacity for change is called plasticity. For example, Rutter discovered than somber babies living in understaffed orphanages often become cheerful and affectionate when placed in socially stimulating adoptive homes. Developmental psychology as a discipline did not exist until after the industrial revolution when the need for an educated workforce led to the social construction of childhood as a distinct stage in a person's life.
The notion of childhood originates in the Western world and this is why the early research derives from this location. Initially, developmental psychologists were interested in studying the mind of the child so that education and learning could be more effective.
Developmental changes during adulthood is an even more recent area of study. This is mainly due to advances in medical science, enabling people to live to old age. Charles Darwin is credited with conducting the first systematic study of developmental psychology. In he published a short paper detailing the development of innate forms of communication based on scientific observations of his infant son, Doddy.
However, the emergence of developmental psychology as a specific discipline can be traced back to when Wilhelm Preyer a German physiologist published a book entitled The Mind of the Child.
In the book, Preyer describes the development of his own daughter from birth to two and a half years. Importantly, Preyer used rigorous scientific procedures throughout studying the many abilities of his daughter. In Preyer's publication was translated into English, by which time developmental psychology as a discipline was fully established with a further 47 empirical studies from Europe, North America and Britain also published to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge in the field.
During the s three key figures have dominated the field with their extensive theories of human development, namely Jean Piaget , Lev Vygotsky and John Bowlby Indeed, much of the current research continues to be influenced by these three theorists. McLeod, S. Developmental psychology. Simply Psychology.
Baltes, P. Darwin, C. A Biographical Sketch of an Infant. Mind , 2, Preyer, W. Grieben, Leipzig,. The soul of the child: observations on the mental development of man in the first years of life. Rutter, M. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 22 4 , Toggle navigation. Developmental Questions Developmental Questions. Download this article as a PDF. How to reference this article: How to reference this article: McLeod, S. Back to top. Developmental changes in body or behavior that result from the aging process nature , rather than life experience, or learning nurture.
A relatively permanent change in behavior that results from one's experiences. Developmental changes that characterize most people, i.
About Human Development
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A multitude of meanings is attached to the idea of development; the term is complex. It is a bout building active and sustainable communities based on social justice and mutual respect. It is about changing power structures to reduce barriers that prevent people from participating in the issues that affect their lives.
Human development is about the real freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live. The human development concept was developed by economist Mahbub ul Haq. At the World Bank in the s, and later as minister of finance in his own country, Pakistan, Dr.
By Saul McLeod , updated Developmental psychology is a scientific approach which aims to explain growth, change and consistency though the lifespan. A significant proportion of theories within this discipline focus upon development during childhood, as this is the period during an individual's lifespan when the most change occurs. Developmental psychologists study a wide range of theoretical areas, such as biological, social, emotion, and cognitive processes.
What is Development?
Development economics is a branch of economics which deals with economic aspects of the development process in low income countries. Its focus is not only on methods of promoting economic development , economic growth and structural change but also on improving the potential for the mass of the population, for example, through health, education and workplace conditions, whether through public or private channels. Development economics involves the creation of theories and methods that aid in the determination of policies and practices and can be implemented at either the domestic or international level. Unlike in many other fields of economics, approaches in development economics may incorporate social and political factors to devise particular plans. The earliest Western theory of development economics was mercantilism , which developed in the 17th century, paralleling the rise of the nation state. Earlier theories had given little attention to development.
Dudley Seers while elaborating on the meaning of development suggests that while there can be value judgements on what is development and what is not, it should be a universally acceptable aim of development to make for conditions that lead to a realisation of the potentials of human personality. A job not necessarily paid employment but including studying, working on a family farm or keeping house;. The people are held to be the principal actors in human scale development. Respecting the diversity of the people as well as the autonomy of the spaces in which they must act converts the present day object person to a subject person in the human scale development. Development of the variety that we have experienced has largely been a top-down approach where there is little possibility of popular participation and decision making. In this sense development seeks to restore or enhance basic human capabilities and freedoms and enables people to be the agents of their own development.
Development theory is a collection of theories about how desirable change in society is best achieved. Such theories draw on a variety of social science disciplines and approaches. In this article, multiple theories are discussed, as are recent developments with regard to these theories. Depending on which theory that is being looked at, there are different explanations to the process of development and their inequalities. Modernization theory is used to analyze the processes in which modernization in societies take place. The theory looks at which aspects of countries are beneficial and which constitute obstacles for economic development.
meaning, and generate a discourse on what constitutes this „good change‟. As a result, the term development in both academic and non-academic fields has.
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In the s and s, development was largely referred to as economic growth, which meant a quantitative rather than qualitative change in economic performance. Consequently, development theories were designed to activate and accelerate the process of economic growth and move developing nations along the path charted by the industrial ones of the West, from relying primarily on agricultural activity to relying primarily on industrial production and trade. No plan or amount of money can develop an economy if it leaves out culture, which governs the attitudes and the ways of thinking of the people who would be managing the proposed development strategies and programs. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.