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Development of cognitive, emotional, intellectual, and social capabilities and functioning over the course of one's life. It is the subject matter of the discipline of developmental psychology. In infancy, language is acquired, perception, emotion, and memory take shape, and learning and motor skills develop. In childhood, speech emerges, cognitive abilities advance from concrete to abstract operations, emotional responses become more sophisticated, and empathy and moral reasoning begin to be employed. Adolescence is a time of rapid emotional and intellectual growth, while adulthood is characterized by the maturing of all developmental processes.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on psychological development, visit Britannica.com.
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