A motivation theory which is focuses around the idea that human nature features persistent positive traits, and that people consistently display effort, agency and commitment in their lives, collectively known as ‘inherent growth tendencies’.
The basis for this is three innate needs, which, if met, allow for optimum function and growth. These are Competence, Autonomy and Relatedness.
This is a positive approach in that humans are seen as inherently inclined towards development of their potential. However, although this inclination is innate, it is not automatic and the social environment must be necessarily nuturing for this potential to be realised.
Read more at the Centre for Self-Determination Theory