"In 1925, Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock conducted a study with a group of fourth and sixth grade math students in the US. She wanted to see whether their output could be modified, not by the content of the lessons but by the feedback they received as they solved problems. The control group was praised for their efforts; another was criticized; and a third ignored. Hurlock measured their improvement by the number of math problems they solved each day.
The results were immediate. By the second day, the "praised" students dramatically outperformed the rest. At the end of the five-day study, the results were in: the students increased the number of solved problems in direct relation to the level of encouragement they received.
Praised students: +71%
Criticized students: +19%
Ignored students: +5%
Praise works! Whether in the classroom, office or other work site, people need encouragement to do their best work."
From The Daily Carrot Principle by Gostick and Elton
The question then is not are you smarter than a 5th grader, but are you receiving as much praise as a 5th grader?!