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Pavel S. Blagov portait

Pavel Blagov

Professor of Psychology

Having grown up in the green capital of Bulgaria, Pavel Blagov attended a Russian language school and the American College of Sofia. His interests in human biology and philosophy of mind turned into the fascination with psychology that took him to Connecticut College, where he worked on research of personality linkages to autobiographical memories. Blagov embraced the values of a liberal arts education and empirical science, majoring in psychology and neuroscience/neurochemistry. He planned to become a psychologist.

At York University in Toronto, he worked on psychotherapy research and fell in love with Canada. Blagov's research goals took him to Emory University in Atlanta, where he studied emotion-driven reasoning, the classification of personality pathology, certain forms of mild personality dysfunction and such severe disorders as borderline personality and psychopathy. He also trained in pedagogy and psychological assessment and therapy, and completed his predoctoral internship at Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan. Blagov says that he came to Whitman College because of the congenial atmosphere, the balance between teaching and research and the tradition of student-faculty research.

His teaching interests include personality, psychological measurement and testing, and courses about the classification and treatment of psychopathology. He also teaches research methods, research on sexual orientation, and forensic psychology, and is well-versed in basic neuroscience and psychopharmacology.


Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
Emory University

B.A. Psychology & Neuroscience/Neurochemistry
Connecticut College

Courses Taught by Professor Blagov

  • PSYC-110: Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC-217: Psychology and Law
  • PSYC-220: Research Methods
  • PSYC-260: Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC-270: Personality Theories
  • PSYC-309: Science of Sexual Orientation
  • PSYC-353/6: Applied Psychology
  • PSYC-495/6: Undergraduate Thesis

Psychology majors interested in joining the Personality Lab should contact Associate Professor Blagov. His research addresses individual differences in personal memories, the ability of maladaptive traits to predict aspects of everyday life, and, more generally, connections between personality and psychological adjustment.

Blagov is highly interested in working on research projects with students who are curious about personality, mental illness, psychological adjustment, relational functioning, the effects of emotions and motivation on decision making and sexual orientation and gender. 

Licensed to practice psychology in Washington, Blagov has a small private practice (not associated with Whitman College) that focuses on individual psychotherapy with adults. In the past, he has been able to take on practicum students from Whitman to shadow his clinical work. Blagov is always happy to speak with current or prospective students and with alumni, about the psychology majors, graduate school and career options in psychology, as well as volunteering and internship opportunities in Walla Walla.

Journal Articles

Blagov, P.S., Singer, J.A., Oost, K.M., Bergey, A., Dolence, X.A., Duvall, A.M., Hermann, B., Kantor, R.E., Liponis, O., O'Neal, K., Rubino, M., Storm, E., Yu, M., & Goodman, J.A. (2023). Expression and detection of triarchic psychopathy traits in the self-defining memories of U.S. undergraduates. Personality and Individual Differences, 214, 112323. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2023.112323 Request Blagov et al. (2023)

Blagov, P. S., Singer, J. A., Oost, K. M., & Goodman, J. A. (2022). Self-defining memories – narrative features in relation to adaptive and maladaptive personality traits (replication and extension of Blagov & Singer, 2004). Journal of Personality, 90, 457-575. Request Blagov et al. (2022)

Blagov, P.S. (2021). Adaptive and dark personality in the Covid-19 pandemic: Predicting health-behavior endorsement and the appeal of public-health messages. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 12(5), 697-707. doi: 10.1177/1948550620936439  Download Blagov (2021)

Blagov, P.S., Von Handorf, K., Pugh, A. T., & Walker, M. G. (2019). Maladaptive personality and psychopathy dimensions as predictors of music and movie preferences in U.S. adults. Psychology of Music, 47(6), 821-833. doi: 10.1177/0305735619864630 Request Blagov et al. (2019)

Blagov, P.S., Patrick, C.J., Oost, K.M., Goodman, J.A., & Pugh, A.T. (2016). Triarchic Psychopathy Measure: Validity in relation to normal-range traits, personality pathology, and psychological adjustment. Journal of Personality Disorders, 30(1), 71-81.  Request Blagov et al. (2016)

Westen, D., Waller, N., Shedler, J. & Blagov, P.S. (2014). Dimensions of personality and personality pathology: Factor structure of the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure-II (SWAP-II). Journal of Personality Disorders, 28(2), 281-318. Request Westen et al. (2014)

Singer, J.A., Blagov, P.S., Berry, M., & Oost, K.M. (2013). Self-defining memories, scripts, and the life story: Narrative identity in personality and psychotherapy. Journal of Personality, 81(6), 569-582.  Request Blagov et al. (2013)

Blagov, P.S., Bi, W., Shedler, J., & Westen, D. (2012). The Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP): Evaluating psychometric questions about its reliability, validity, and impact of its fixed score distribution. Assessment, 19(3), 370 - 382.  Request Blagov et al. (2012)

Blagov, P.S., Patrick, C.J., Lilienfeld, S.O., Powers, A.D., Phifer, J.E., Venables, N., et al. (2011). Personality constellations in incarcerated psychopathic men. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, & Treatment, 2(4), 293-315.  Request Blagov et al. (2011)

Blagov, P.S., & Westen, D. (2008). Questioning the coherence of Histrionic Personality Disorder: Personality subtypes in adults and adolescents. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 169 (11), 785-797.  Request Blagov & Westen (2008)

Blagov, P.S., Bradley, R., & Westen, D. (2007). Under the Axis II radar: Clinically relevant personality constellations that escape DSM-IV diagnosis. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 195 (6), 477-483.  Request Blagov et al. (2007)

Westen, D., Blagov, P.S., Harenski, K., Kilts, C., & Hamann, S. (2006). Neural bases of motivated reasoning: An fMRI study of emotional constraints on partisan political judgment in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18(11), 1947-1958.  Request Westen et al. (2006)

Blagov, P.S., & Singer, J.A. (2004). Four empirically derived dimensions of self-defining autobiographical memories (structure, meaning, content, and affect) and their relationships to social-emotional maturity, distress, and repressive defensiveness. Journal of Personality, 72, 481-511.  Request Blagov & Singer (2004)

Book Chapters

Blagov, P.S., & Ortigo, K.M. (2017). Schizoid personality disorder and gender. In K. Nadal (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press.  Request Blagov & Ortigo (2017)

Ortigo, K.M., & Blagov, P.S. (2017a). Avoidant personality disorder and gender. In K. Nadal (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press.  Request Ortigo & Blagov (2017a)

Ortigo, K.M., & Blagov, P.S. (2017b). Dependent personality disorder and gender. In K. Nadal (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press.  Request Ortigo & Blagov (2017b)

Blagov, P.S., Goodman, J.A. (2016). Sex, gender, and sexual orientation in the assessment of affective disorders. In V. Brabender and J. Mihura (Eds.), Handbook of gender and sexuality in psychological assessment (pp. 256-289). New York, N.Y.: Routlege.  Request Blagov & Goodman (2016)

Blagov, P.S., Fowler, K., & Lilienfeld, S. (2007). Histrionic personality disorder. In W. O'Dononue, S. O. Lilienfeld, and K. A. Fowler (Eds.), Personality disorders: Toward DSM-V (pp. 203-232). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press.  Request Blagov et al. (2007)

Westen, D., & Blagov, P.S. (2007). A clinical-empirical model of emotion regulation: From defenses and motivated reasoning to emotional constraint satisfaction. In J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 373-392). New York, NY: Guilford Press.  Request Westen & Blagov (2007)

Westen, D., Gabbard, G., & Blagov, P. (2006). Back to the future: Personality structure as a context for psychopathology. In R. F. Krueger & J. L. Tackett (Eds.), Personality and psychopathology: Building bridges (pp. 335-384). New York, NY: Guilford Press.  Request Westen et al. (2006)

Singer, J.A., & Blagov, P.S. (2004a). The integrative function of narrative processing: Autobiographical memory, self-defining memories and the life story of identity. In D. R. Beike, J. M. Lampinen, & D. A. Behrend (Eds.), The self and memory. New York, NY: The Psychology Press.   Request Singer & Blagov (2004a)

Singer, J.A., & Blagov, P.S. (2004b). The integrative function of self-defining memories in the self-memory system and their use in individual psychotherapy. In L. Angus and J. McLeod (Eds.), The Handbook of Narrative and Psychotherapy: Practice, Theory, & Research (pp. 229-246). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press.  Request Singer & Blagov (2004b)

Selected Service to the College

(Current and/or past)

  • Chair, Psychology Department
  • Chair, Curriculum Committee
  • Chair, Institutional Review Board
  • Chair, Board of Review
  • Secretary/Treasurer, Whitman College AAUP Chapter
  • Member, Council on Academic Standards
  • Member, Council on Student Affairs
  • Member, Fulbright Committee
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