What Are the Causes of Development?

Development is a process of growth, progress and positive change. It includes economic development, focusing on increases in people’s income, as well as social development including education and the provision of public services.

Various meta-theorists have proposed different ideas about what causes development. Some have assumed that human beings develop in the same way as machines, so they can be studied and understood apart from their cultural context. This mechanistic assumption is reflected in formulations of genetic, sociobiological, ethological and neuroscience theories of human development.

Other researchers, such as Vygotsky, information processing theorists and behaviorists have suggested that human beings develop as structured wholes that become more sophisticated with every new environmental experience. This is known as continuous development. These researchers also have criticized Piaget for overemphasizing physical maturation in cognitive development, and for underestimating the role that culture and experience play.

Whether or not there are any real causes of development, most theorists agree that humans need to evolve to adapt to changes in their environment. They need to increase their intellectual and technical capability in order to exploit emerging opportunities and face a variety of challenges. This is the basis of professional development, where employees have an opportunity to learn and gain skills in order to improve their job performance.

Aside from enhancing an employee’s ability to perform his or her work, professional development can lead to career advancement. For example, gaining a new qualification or certification can boost an employee’s resume and make them more likely to be considered for a promotion.