Development is a broad term that can mean a variety of things in the context of human life. It can be used to describe the progress of an idea or product, or it can be referring to the growth and maturation of an individual person. It can also be used to describe an organization’s culture, where it refers to the ways in which employees are supported and encouraged at work.
Development can also be an approach to economics, focusing on the prosperity and well-being of individuals in society. One of the main goals of development is to reduce poverty, which is considered to be a necessary condition for other developmental goals such as providing personal freedoms and a healthy environment.
In addition to reducing poverty, other aspects of development include economic growth and social inclusion. One popular way to measure the development of a country is to look at its gross national product (GNP). This is an indicator of the overall health of the nation’s economy, including the wealth of its people.
The study of development is guided by certain assumptions that are often called meta-theories. These are broader assumptions about how development works, and they can be found in various theories such as sociobiology, evolutionary, ethological, neurodevelopmental, temperament, and personality theories. Meta-theories are not always scientifically valid, and they can lead to flawed or incomplete explanations of the human condition.
Some theorists assume that humans are passive in their own development and that they move through a series of psychosocial crises that must be successfully completed to reach full adulthood. Others, such as Piaget and Erikson, believe that humans play a more active role in their own development and that they can make choices that will influence the course of their growth.