Like Piaget and information-processing theorists, core-knowledge theorists also perceive children as active learners, constantly problem-solving and encouraging their own development, but unlike most theorists core-knowledge theorists infer that children enter this life innately knowing some basic concepts and in possession of some special aptitudes for learning necessary skills to survive e.g. language. Core-knowledge theorists stress that our cognitive development is a product of our evolution as a species. We have specific learning mechanisms in place that speed up the process of acquiring the information that is vital for our survival and continuation (closely following the concept of natural selection). They claim these aptitudes serve to further build on children's limited, domain-specific understandings about living and nonliving things (biology), numbers(mathematics), people (psychology), space (physics), and language. In the case of their innate, limited understanding of language, for example, core-knowledge theorists allege children enter life with some universal human language rules on grammar, etc., which to them explains why these children are able to reproduce and manipulate their respective native language fairly quickly and with small error without having been specifically taught. As far as their understanding of living and nonliving things they say children enter life with the conceptual understanding that living things move and nonliving things must have an outside force applied to them, which is how these theorists explain why children appear to expect animals to move about in their first encounter with them and initially place plants in the nonliving category.

Because of core-knowledge theorists' focus on evolution, much of the research they have conducted centers on testing features of human behavior that have been critical or significant in some way to our evolutionary history. Studies on deception, for example, which ended up disproving Piaget's earlier claims that children are completely egotistical until around seven years of age and are incapable of grasping the concept that others may have a different perspective from one's own until later in their development, because if such a claim was true then children would not attempt to deceive others as they would assume that others' knew what they knew. They view phenomenon like infants' preference for human faces from an evolutionary significance standpoint explaining that if infants did not possess this preference they would have a harder time recognizing their primary caregivers (the key to their survival) and building an attachment. With each new observation and study theorists strengthen their belief in the basic concept of core-knowledge theory described above.

*All information on this page was derived from source number 2 found on reference page.*