“[I told the fourth-graders] I was thinking of a number between 1 and 10,000. They still cling stubbornly to the idea that the only good answer is a yes answer. This, of course, is the result of miseducation in which ‘right answers’ are the only ones that pay off. They have not learned how to learn from a mistake, or even that learning from mistakes is possible. If they say, ‘Is the number between 5,000 and 10,000?’ and I say yes, they cheer; if I say no, they groan, even though they get exactly the same amount of information in either case. The more anxious ones will, over and over again, ask questions that have already been answered, just for the satisfaction of hearing a yes.”
This is so key. I think I was one of those yes kids and it took me a long time (still learning) to divorce emotions and self worth from a negative response instead of understanding them in a scientific manner/as part of an answer to life problems.