I think the issue with this is, are you playing back/laying up because it's smarter, or because you flat-out can't hit the longer club? I think people learning the game don't want to play back because, well, they just can't keep their driver on the planet, you want to hit it in order to improve yourself at it, or battle-test it. Never pulling your driver can be akin to acknowledging your incompetence, or your fear of it. On the other hand, if you know you can hit it when you need to, and know that leaving it in the bag is simply the smarter play, irrespective of your ability to hit it, then course management gets easier. THAT is the reason I think higher handicappers attempt the harder/wrong shots, because they feel like the alternative is 'bailing out' because of their lesser ability.
Of course, this is a chicken-or-egg situation. In some cases, taking a smart play, staying out of trouble, will build confidence, which can then lead to a better swing, that eventually does help you hit long irons, driver, etc... On the other hand, at some point, to break through scoring plateaus, you do need to start setting slightly higher expectations for yourself and attempt harder shots. For example, when I was breaking into the 'always under 90' club, I realized, I needed to stop going after par 5's in two as my 'default' goal. I'm not super-long off the tee in most cases, but say I do catch one and end up 200 yards away, I would be on all cylinders, I have to go at it. In truth, I really don't have that shot with any consistency, and one day just said, "hit a solid 7-iron in those cases, get to 60 yards (at which distance I am pretty good), and make a birdie." Sound approach, smart approach, but certainly, there needs to come a time when I DO need to get confident hitting a 200-yard approach from the middle of the fairway. As a result, lately, I've started trying those shots, and though missing them is still my norm, I've got to try to battle-test myself with those kinds of shots. The balance of doing that vs. maintaining scoring is the challenge.