Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

2009 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers (Editor-in-Chief)

Development, Complex Dynamic Systems of

  • Paul van Geert
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30440-3_120

Definition of the Subject

Developmental psychology concerns the study of developmental changes in human beings across the life span. Developmental changes are broadly defined as changes in the organism that are mostly progressive – in terms of increasing complexity, adaptation to the environment, efficiency of actions and operations and so forth. The subject of developmental psychology is the individual person, embedded in a particular social, cultural and material context. Although it is now widely accepted that development is a life-long process, the main developmental events take place during the first part of the life span, which co-occur with physical growth and development and coincide roughly with the age from birth to adulthood. Developmental changes through adulthood and old-age are often referred to as processes of aging and imply processes of loss, for instancing due to aging of the nervous system, and processes compensating for such losses.

Developmental psychology is...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul van Geert
    • 1
  1. 1.The Heymans InstituteGroningenThe Netherlands