Development is a process of growth, progress, and positive change. It can refer to personal or organizational growth and improvement, skill-building, and the acquisition of new knowledge. It can also be used to describe a social movement, such as capitalism or communism. The term can also be applied to a new technology or business model, such as low code software development.
The study of development is guided by assumptions about human nature, the causes of change, and the ways that people move through developmental stages. These assumptions are called meta-theories and are different for each researcher and field of study. Some researchers assume that changes are inevitable and unstoppable, while others believe that individuals have a role in choosing their own developmental path.
For example, some theories of cognitive development assume that children move systematically through certain developmental stages as they grow older. These stages include concrete operations, representational reasoning, and abstract thinking. However, other researchers think that cultural and environmental factors influence cognitive development. They argue that children may go through the same basic operations as other children, but they learn them differently in their specific cultural contexts.
A country’s economic development is often measured by its GDP, which includes the production of goods and services. Another measure of development is a country’s level of income, as well as its level of education and health care. A third measure is the amount of its exports, which includes raw materials and finished products.