What Is Psychological Development?

Psychological development refers to the changes that occur within human beings over the course of their lifetime, according to Simply Psychology. In the field of psychology, this sub-field is called developmental psychology. Although developmental psychology is often associated with child developmental psychology, it has expanded to include adolescent developmental psychology and adult psychology.

Psychological development refers to the different levels and methods of cognitive development. Most psychological development occurs during childhood, which is why much of the field of developmental psychology is devoted to studies of children and children's cognitive functions. One of the major theories in psychological development is the attachment theory, which focuses on the need for meaningful, open and honest human relationships to form healthy psychological development.

The debate over nature versus nurture is at the center of psychological development. This argument focuses on what skills or knowledge is innate, or natural, to human beings, and what is learned. For example, nature versus nurture is concerned with whether or not the disposition to be violent is natural or learned from experience.

Charles Darwin is cited by Simply Psychology as forging the primary theories in developmental psychology. Darwin published a paper regarding the developmental capacities of his infant son, Doddy, in 1877.