The Concept of Development

The Concept of Development: An Issue in the Study of Human Behavior

EDITED BY DALE B. HARRIS
Copyright Date: 1957
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 300
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttttj0x
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  • Book Info
    The Concept of Development
    Book Description:

    The Concept of Development was first published in 1967. In the various disciplines which make up the behavioral sciences, the concept of development plays a useful and significant role. The need has existed, however, for more unity of thought regarding the meaning of the concept, and this volume represents a long step ahead toward that goal. The book contains a series of 17 papers by as many contributors from the fields of psychology, philosophy, the natural sciences, medical science, social science, and the humanities. The chapters are arranged in five sections: Issues in the Study of Development, Biology and Growth, The Development of Human Behavior, The Concept of Development in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and Social Applications of the Developmental Concept. The contributors are Dale B. Harris, Ernest Nagel, John E. Anderson, Viktor Hamburger, J. P. Scott, T. C. Schneirla, Howard V. Meredith, Heinz Werner, Robert R. Sears, Wallace A. Russell, Norman J. DeWitt, Herbert Heaton, Robert F. Spencer, John A. Anderson, M.D., Hyman S. Lippman, M.D., John C. Kidneigh, and Willard C. Olson. The book is especially appropriate for text use or collateral reading in courses in psychology, education, sociology, or child development.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6281-4
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. FOREWORD
    (pp. v-vi)
    Malcolm M. Willey

    For thirty years the Institute of Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota has been a vigorous research center, studying aspects of child growth and development. In a day when the social sciences, and especially the behavioral sciences, are the focus of many research funds and much intellectual effort, it seems appropriate to consider the concept of development and its usefulness in the various disciplines studying human affairs. Such a conference was held at the University of Minnesota, December 8–10, 1955, to recognize the Institute’s productive work of three decades.

    Initially the Institute was nothing more than a grant...

  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. vii-viii)
    D. B. H.
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. ISSUES IN THE STUDY OF DEVELOPMENT
    • PROBLEMS IN FORMULATING A SCIENTIFIC CONCEPT OF DEVELOPMENT
      (pp. 3-14)
      Dale B. Harris

      One contribution to this volume refers to the protean meanings of development. Like the Old Man of the Sea, development has a significant reference to the future. However, each person who laid hold on Proteus to make him yield the secret of the future found him assuming a different shape. Few were those who mastered him in his many forms. The concept of development has impressed scholars as being equally slippery, and of limited usefulness. Few are those who attempt to master it in its many aspects.

      The concept of development is fundamentally biological. While a concept of development may...

    • DETERMINISM AND DEVELOPMENT
      (pp. 15-24)
      Ernest Nagel

      The worddevelopmentis notoriously one with protean meanings. It is sometimes used to connote a process, sometimes the product of a process. It is frequently employed as a purely descriptive term to characterize several types of change; but it also functions in many contexts as a eulogistic label. An analogous though perhaps less disturbing plurality of connotations is associated also with the worddeterminism. Prefatory to discussing the ostensible theme of this paper, something must be said to identify, if only in a loose way, the senses in which these words are to be understood in the sequel.

      Even...

    • DYNAMICS OF DEVELOPMENT: SYSTEMS IN PROCESS
      (pp. 25-46)
      John E. Anderson

      All of us are interested in development, in what happens to living beings and to social systems as they move forward in time. But we are only incidentally occupied with the transactions of the moment; we are much more concerned with long-time trends; with structuring, organization, system formation, whether we see it in species, in individuals, or in groups. Perhaps we can find a common language in the principles which underlie development.

      For my part, as a student of human development, I have tried to break down the concept of development into dimensions which frame mutually exclusive principles, and then...

  6. BIOLOGY AND GROWTH
    • THE CONCEPT OF “DEVELOPMENT” IN BIOLOGY
      (pp. 49-58)
      Viktor Hamburger

      The termdevelopmentis used in so many fields, and it has so many connotations, that it is difficult to find a definition common to all. There seems to be a rather general agreement among the contributors to this symposium that the term, in the most general sense, denotes a more or less continuousprocesswhich usually involvesprogressive changesfrom a more simple to a more complex structure or organizational pattern. The increase of complexity is particularly obvious in biological development, but this aspect may not be significant in other fields.

      Even in biology the term has different meanings...

    • THE GENETIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL DIFFERENTIATION OF BEHAVIOR
      (pp. 59-77)
      J. P. Scott

      It is now generally agreed that the concept of development in its original sense of a process of unfolding or unwrapping is too simple to fit the observed facts. The term is still useful in general description, but the actual working concepts employed in the study of the development of behavior have long been those of maturation and learning. Under maturation have been lumped all the biological factors which act during development, and learning has included all the psychological ones. This has never been a satisfactory dichotomy because in practice it has been found that it is almost impossible to...

    • THE CONCEPT OF DEVELOPMENT IN COMPARATIVE PSYCHOLOGY
      (pp. 78-108)
      T. C. Schneirla

      The concept of development, connoting a pattern of changes occurring in a system through time, is fundamental to the psychological study of animals. But a comparative psychology as a scientific discipline does not arise merely through the general recognition that some kind of relationship exists between the phenomena of phylogenetic and ontogenetic change (90). Nor is it to be established by the same methods as a comparative anatomy or a comparative embryology.

      Although, as investigation progresses, the molecular basis of behavior and of psychological capacities is revealed with increasing clarity in organic processes, it is becoming evident that the principles...

    • A DESCRIPTIVE CONCEPT OF PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
      (pp. 109-122)
      Howard V. Meredith

      Physical development is not “a scientific term with defined and constant meaning” (32). Consequently, the first obligation of one who discusses physical development is to make explicit the meaning the term will carry.

      Biologic organisms are studied developmentally in two respects, phylogenetically and ontogenetically. Students of phylogenetic development investigate changes within phyla, species, and subspecies from generation to generation, from eon to eon. Students of ontogenetic development study sequential modifications of individual organisms, beginning with their earliest embryonic condition and continuing to the close of senility. Throughout this presentation the term physical development will be employed with delimited reference to...

  7. THE DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR
    • THE CONCEPT OF DEVELOPMENT FROM A COMPARATIVE AND ORGANISMIC POINT OF VIEW
      (pp. 125-148)
      Heinz Werner

      The field of developmental psychology, as it is conceived here, transcends the boundaries within which the concept of development is frequently applied: development is here apprehended as a concept not merely applicable to delimited areas such as child growth or comparative behavior of animals, but as a concept that proposes a certain manner of viewing behavior in its manifold manifestations. Such a developmental approach to behavior rests on one basic assumption, namely, that wherever there is life there is growth and development, that is, formation in terms of systematic, orderly sequence. This basic assumption, then, entails the view that developmental...

    • IDENTIFICATION AS A FORM OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT
      (pp. 149-161)
      Robert R. Sears

      Among the many ways in which living organisms exhibit systematic changes with time is the behavioral. The termbehavioralis at least as broad as the termphysical structure, and must be broken down into more manageable categories if we are to examine the mechanics by which various kinds of behavioral changes come about. Presumably here, as elsewhere in ontogenesis, the rules and principles of growth are most easily discovered, and most precisely applicable, if we limit our investigation to homogeneous categories of events.

      There are a number of different ways in which behavior can be analyzed. Each of them...

    • AN EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY OF DEVELOPMENT: PIPE DREAM OR POSSIBILITY?
      (pp. 162-174)
      Wallace A. Russell

      Experimental methods represent but one weapon in the arsenal of the scientific investigator. Many scientific disciplines, such as astronomy, are not experimental sciences at all. Others find experimental studies of limited usefulness, and there are those who would argue that psychology is one of these. However this may be, there are experimental psychologists who greatly esteem this method and who have evolved a characteristic way of viewing both their method and their subject matter. The question of whether or not there can be an experimental psychology of development within the experimentalist’s meaning of the term is so linked with this...

  8. THE CONCEPT OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
    • ORGANISM AND HUMANISM: AN EMPIRICAL VIEW
      (pp. 177-198)
      Norman J. DeWitt

      Since the concept of growth and development, like other organic concepts, is concerned primarily with living organisms, it therefore has an exact empirical reference in the general field of biology.

      The applications of organic concepts in other fields, such as language and literature, have proved to be very fruitful; so fruitful, indeed, that to view such applications critically may seem to be either ungenerous or unnecessary. Organic concepts have been the basic tools of our academic succession since the fourth century b.c., or, in biological terms, they have been and still are implicit in thestructureandjunctionof our...

    • CLIO PUTS THE QUESTION
      (pp. 199-213)
      Herbert Heaton

      The worddevelopmentis one well known to historians. Glancing casually over my European library, I find six books on one shelf with the word in their titles, ranging fromThe Development of the Soviet Economic Systemto a volume in an Oxford series onEuropean Civilization: Its Origin and Development. Cheek by jowl on a shelf of Americana I notice five similar titles — development of the flour milling industry, of Federal Reserve policy, of two bank groups in the Central Northwest, of American industries, arid of American business and banking thought. The current publishers’ lists suggest that this...

    • EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT: A VIEW OF ANTHROPOLOGY
      (pp. 214-224)
      Robert F. Spencer

      Sir Edward Burnett Tylor, writing in 1874, defined his position as follows: “The thesis which I venture to sustain, within limits, is simply this, that the savage state in some measure represents an early condition of mankind, one out of which the higher culture has gradually developed or evolved, by processes still in regular operation as of old, the result showing that, on the whole, progress has far prevailed over relapse” (15, p. 32). This is the argument advanced by the scholar who was to become known as the father of anthropology. He equated the concept of development with the...

  9. SOCIAL APPLICATIONS OF THE DEVELOPMENTAL CONCEPT
    • SIGNIFICANCE OF GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT TO THE PRACTICING PHYSICIAN
      (pp. 227-233)
      John A. Anderson

      There is perhaps no professional field in which the concept of growth and development can have fuller meaning than in the practice of medicine. A complete understanding of the patterns of growth and development and the variations in expression of these dynamic processes is necessary in order to define the existence of disease at any time from conception to birth and from birth to maturity. In addition to the responsibility of defining what is pathologic and what is not pathologic, the responsibility of the physician extends further. Society demands that disease be prevented, that it be recognized in its earliest...

    • THE RELATION BETWEEN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
      (pp. 234-243)
      Hyman S. Lippman

      Our knowledge of psychopathology is based largely on research and clinical studies from psychoanalysis. Freud’s early formulations regarding the forces in the psyche interacting with each other, threw new light on the nature of emotional conflict. Dynamic psychology opened up vast areas of research in the clinical fields, especially in psychotherapy. Neurotic illness was no longer classified as a degenerative disease; it became recognized as the logical result of conflicting psychic forces, with understandable causes and specific therapy.

      One of the first most significant contributions of psychoanalysis was the discovery that the sex instinct did not manifest itself for the...

    • THE CONCEPT OF DEVELOPMENT WHICH UNDERLIES THE SOCIAL WORK HELPING PROCESS
      (pp. 244-258)
      John C. Kidneigh

      Development may be recognized by social workers as referring to several kinds of processes. In one sense it may be regarded as historical development; in another, as social process; in another, as the development of a social value system; in another, as personality development with the concomitant biological, psychological, and social components. Social workers tend to emphasize the importance of dynamic social interaction and hence focus upon the phenomena ofrelationshipsas central to their concept of thenatureof human nature.

      This paper will present briefly a concept of development which holds the concept of relationship central. But if...

    • DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY IN EDUCATION
      (pp. 259-274)
      Willard C. Olson

      Development is a master concept in the field of education, formal and informal. The present paper will present some ideas with a strong factual basis in an attempt to extend the area of the known by theoretical extensions which are at times of a speculative and controversial character.

      The definitions of such words asgrowth,development, andmaturationare not completely standardized, particularly when one moves from one field of specialization to another. Growth as increase in size or amount is fairly standard, and we can apply this indiscriminately to growth in inches or pounds or abilities in school subjects....

  10. Index
    (pp. 275-287)