At Indiana University, we view the study of development as the study of mechanisms and causal forces of change. We seek to prepare future scientists by giving them the empirical and theoretical tools needed to go beyond the mere description of development to an explanation of how change happens.
Questions about developmental process transcend specific content areas and specific species. Thus, an understanding of developmental process requires both deep expertise ina specific content area and a broad awareness of developmental phenomena across what are normally considered separate areas in psychology and allied sciences. For example, we believe that studies of infant motor development of smiling and other facial gestures, and studies of the development of songs in birds help us understand how language is acquired.