Progress is the movement towards a refined, improved, or otherwise desired state or, in the context of progressivism, the idea that advancements in technology, science, and social organization can result in an improved human condition; the latter may happen as a result of direct human action, as in social enterprise or through activism, or as a natural part of sociocultural evolution.
The concept of progress was introduced in the early 19th-century social theories, especially social evolution as described by Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer. It was present in the Enlightenment’s philosophies of history. As a goal, social progress has been advocated by varying realms of political ideologies with different theories on how it is to be achieved.
Specific indicators for measuring progress can range from economic data, technical innovations, change in the political or legal system, and questions bearing on individual life chances, such as life expectancy and risk of disease and disability.
GDP growth has become a key orientation for politics and is often taken as a key figure to evaluate a politician’s performance. However, GDP has a number of flaws that make it a bad measure of progress, especially for developed countries. For example, environmental damage is not taken into account nor is the sustainability of economic activity. Wikiprogress has been set up to share information on evaluating societal progress. It aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas, initiatives and knowledge. HumanProgress.org is another online resource that seeks to compile data on different measures of societal progress.
The Social Progress Index is a tool developed by the International Organization Imperative Social Progress, which measures the extent to which countries cover social and environmental needs of its citizenry. There are fifty-two indicators in three areas or dimensions: Basic Human Needs, and Foundations of Wellbeing and Opportunities which show the relative performance of nations.
A result (also called upshot) is the final consequence of a sequence of actions or events expressed qualitatively or quantitatively. Possible results include advantage, disadvantage, gain, injury, loss, value and victory. There may be a range of possible outcomes associated with an event depending on the point of view, historical distance or relevance. Reaching no result can mean that actions are inefficient, ineffective, meaningless or flawed.
Some types of result are as follows:
- In general, the outcome of any kind of research, action or phenomenon
- In games (e.g. cricket, lotteries) or wars, the result includes the identity of the victorious party and possibly the effects on the environment
- In mathematics, the final value of a calculation (e.g. arithmetic operation), function or statistical expression, or the final statement of a theorem that has been proven
- In statistics, any information analyzed, extracted or interpolated from polls, tests or logs
- In computer sciences, the return value of a function, state of a system or list of records matching a query (e.g. web search). The result type is the data type of the data returned by a function.
- In science, the outcome of an experiment (e.g. see null hypothesis)
- In forensics and justice, the proof of guilt or innocence of a suspect after evaluating evidence in a criminal investigation
- In economics and accounting, the profit or loss at the end of a fiscal period.
- In democracy
In management and related fields, a result is a piece of information that has certain properties in absolute terms or in relation to previous results or settings:
|Positive (+)||Neutral (0)||Negative (-)|
|Credibility||Confirmed / verified||Unknown||Denied / falsified|
|Sensitivity||Public / open||Unclassified||Classified / secret|
|Accuracy||Accurate / true||Undefined / null||Inaccurate / false|
|Relevance||Important||Normal||Negligible / meaningless|