People & Money — MKTG 499

Why take People & Money?

People & Money is a unique class that you won’t find at any other college! It looks at prices and money through psychological and behavioral lenses. You’ll get to dive deeper into consumer behavior and better understand pricing as a consumer and a professional!

What Is It?

Do you ever wonder why you’re drawn to certain products or why you’re willing to pay more for something even when it doesn’t seem rational? If so, this is the course for you! We’ll dive into the fascinating world of how people think about prices and money to make purchasing decisions and explore the factors that influence those decisions.

This course goes beyond typical economic models and incorporates hands-on experiences and real-life examples to help you understand how people behave in the marketplace. Through readings from a variety of sources, you’ll discover what truly motivates people when it comes to making purchasing decisions. 

This class provides valuable insights into the mysterious world of buying behavior and how we can use those insights to create effective marketing strategies.


How It All Works


  • There will be readings related to the topic of each day that should be read before class
  • Classes will be conducted more like a seminar rather than a lecture
  • Classes will include mini lectures, videos, individual and group exercises and class discussions



  • Readings/Videos: To prepare for class
  • Data Collections/activities
  • At home assignments: Short tasks
  • Discussion posts: Due each week
  • Weekly Reports: Due once a week for three weeks of their choosing
  • Exams: Essay style midterm and final


  • Economic Pricing Project: Economic analysis of a product of their choosing
  • Discussion Leadership: Team lead 25-30 minute class discussion and activity based on assigned topic
  • In Depth Research Report: Related to a topic covered in class. It will require research and application components. Written and oral deliverables required. 

Marketing Unfiltered


Marketing Unfiltered is a video series to highlight what's involved in a few of the upper division marketing electives available to marketing students. Our goal is to help you make the most of your marketing electives! In each video we'll provide details about the student experience from both current and past students in that elective course. This video we’ll be looking into MKTG 499 which is Cat Armstrong Soule’s People and Money class with current senior Camryn Cassidy and recent alum Abby Mellema. We’ll be going into more detail throughout the video. Enjoy!

This video series is an example of content created by a group in the IMC class!


Reboot Your Resume

After taking People & Money you will be able to add these skills to your resume:

  • Intermediate pricing knowledge
  • Experimental design
  • Teamwork
  • Discussion and activity leadership

You’ll also have a big deliverable group project that you’ll be able to add to your portfolio!


Meet The Professor

Cat Armstrong Soule’s research focuses on judgment and decision making within the exchange and consumption contexts. Broadly, she concentrates her work on how consumers form perceptions and how those perceptions are related to intentions and behaviors in a sustainability context. Her other areas of research expertise include anti-consumption, secondhand exchange, pricing, consumer protections, brand communities, and consumer-to-consumer exchange. She uses a variety of research methodology including experimental, interview, descriptive survey, field research, observational and data scraped from social media.

Cat has taught MBA Marketing Management and many undergraduate courses such as: Principles of Marketing, Brand Management, Consumer Behavior, and Integrated Marketing Communications at Western Washington University, University of Oregon and University of Montana. She also created and often teaches a course entitled People & Money: Behavioral and Psychological Perspectives on Pricing.

She has published research in Psychology & Marketing, the Journal of the Association of Consumer Research, Journal of Advertising, the Journal of Marketing Management, the Journal of Macromarketing, the Journal of Consumer Marketing, the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics and the British Food Journal. Her work is routinely presented at conferences such as the Association for Consumer Research, Society of Consumer Psychology, ICAR, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Pricing and Retailing and Marketing and Public Policy.


Sample Syllabus

This sample syllabus highlights what you’ll learn in the class, how everything is graded, and a general timeline. Please keep in mind that the topics can change so subsequent quarters may look a little bit different.

(subject to change)