Friday, January 28, 2005
The seven year old is an exceedingly bashful and anxious soul so I long ago learned to match my sympathetic responses to the reasonableness of the complaint: bit tongues get hugs and coos (but not for terribly long), complaints that she "didn't have fun today" get a perfunctory ("well, I'm sorry you feel that way"). If we cuddle and make much of her when she's "scared," she seems to feel it more intensely, not less.
You get more of what you reward -- this seems like a truism to me. But not to the (now fading, I hope) self-esteem gurus who recently endured another nail in their beloved theorem:
In fact, according to a study by Donald Forsyth at Virginia Commonwealth University, college students with mediocre grades who got regular self-esteem strokes from their professors ended up doing worse on final exams than students who were told to suck it up and try harder.(Via Functional Ambivalent)
If the students got strokes for mediocrity what's the big surprise that they didn't try hard to preven it from happening in the future?
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