|California sunset ©Ken R. Schneider|
and sunset. People would gather to watch the wonderful
blue emerge, and sigh as it slowly faded away--much as
they do now for glorious pink sunrises and sunsets.
Frequently, things that are easy to get, like a blue sky, are
less powerful rewards than things that are harder to get, like
a pretty sunset. The schedule of reinforcement is different,
for sure: You can't just walk outside and marvel at a sunset
any time of day.
Another factor is satiation: For many rewards, too much of a good thing is not a better thing. Two or three delicious candies might be a longed-for treat, but a whole box is a surfeit with no extra immediate value. Indeed, being forced to eat a whole box might be a punisher.
I don't know that anyone's ever had a surfeit of sunsets, but I suppose a photographer trying to capture the perfect one, evening after evening after evening, could find blue skies a lot more appealing!