Pavol Prokop

Pavol Prokop
Comenius University Bratislava · Department of Environmental Ecology

Professor of Zoology

About

241
Publications
212,644
Reads
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6,357
Citations
Citations since 2017
83 Research Items
3924 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
Additional affiliations
March 2019 - March 2020
Comenius University Bratislava
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (241)
Article
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Recent cross-cultural and neuro-hormonal investigations have suggested that love is a near universal phenomenon that has a biological background. Therefore, the remaining important question is not whether love exists worldwide but which cultural, social, or environmental factors influence experiences and expressions of love. In the present study, w...
Article
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Flower angle is crucially important for accurate pollination and flower protection against abiotic factors. Evolutionary factors shaping floral traits are particularly strong for bilaterally symmetric flowers because these flowers require more pollination accuracy than radially symmetrical flowers. We experimentally investigated the flower angle in...
Article
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Large, charismatic animals trigger human emotional responses, which consequently result in taxonomic biases that have been proven in various fields. In our research, we analysed the representation of animals and plants in scientific papers published in three major conservation journals (Conservation Biology, Journal of Applied Ecology and Conservat...
Article
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Bat species and their populations are declining globally due to a variety of anthropogenic activities. Human activities, motivated by negative attitudes toward, perceptions of, and poor knowledge and appreciation of these animals, have a major effect on their conservation. Thus, it is important to improve our understanding of bat-human interactions...
Article
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Memory plays an important role in the behavioral immune system (BIS; Schaller in Psychological Inquiry, 17(2), 96–101, 2016a), a proactive immune system whose ultimate function is to make organisms avoid sources of contamination. Indeed, it has been found that objects presented next to sick people are remembered better than objects shown next to he...
Article
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People across the world and throughout history have gone to great lengths to enhance their physical appearance. Evolutionary psychologists and ethologists have largely attempted to explain this phenomenon via mating preferences and strategies. Here, we test one of the most popular evolutionary hypotheses for beauty-enhancing behaviors, drawn from m...
Article
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People across the world and throughout history have gone to great lengths to enhance their physical appearance. Evolutionary psychologists and ethologists have largely attempted to explain this phenomenon via mating preferences and strategies. Here, we test one of the most popular evolutionary hypotheses for beauty-enhancing behaviors, drawn from m...
Article
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Strong winds, fire, and subsequent forest management impact arthropod communities. We monitored the diversity and changes in the community structure of forest thrips assemblages in the context of secondary succession and anthropogenic impact. There were eight study plots that were affected to varying degrees by the mentioned disturbances that were...
Article
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Degradation of biodiversity is one of the current problems of today, and scientists are increasingly concerned with identifying the key factors influencing people's willingness to protect (WTP) wild organisms. Using a within-subject design, we investigated the influence of aposematic signals along with the presence or absence of flowers on perceive...
Preprint
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People vary in the extent to which they embrace their society’s traditions, impacting a range of social and political phenomena. People also vary in the degree to which they perceive disparate dangers as salient and necessitating a response. Over evolutionary time, traditions likely regularly offered direct and indirect avenues for addressing hazar...
Article
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The Behavioral Immune System (BIS, Schaller & Park, 2011) is a defense system whose function is to protect against pathogen exposure. Memory is an important component of this system (Fernandes et al., 2017). We investigated "contamination effects" in memory in relation to COVID-19. Photographs of everyday objects were shown to adults (N = 80) in th...
Article
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Objectives The male warrior hypothesis suggests that men have evolved psychological mechanisms to form aggressive coalitions against members of outgroups, which may explain men’s propensity to engage in warfare, as well as team sports. We examined gender differences in skin conductivity and attitudes toward war after exposing participants to video...
Article
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Abstract Women's physical attractiveness is associated with health and fertility, but various fashion accessories could act, however, as supernormal stimuli and may enhance physical attractiveness to the opposite sex. Wearing high heels could contribute to women’s physical attractiveness in various ways. Across three independent studies, I investig...
Article
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Interactions between ants and plants vary from being occasionally beneficial to neutral and negative. Ant-mediated dispersal of obligatory myrmecochorous plants is considered mutualistic interaction, providing benefits to plants in terms of seed dispersal. Ants are rewarded by providing elaiosome, sugar, lipid and protein-rich appendages attached t...
Article
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Previous work has reported a relation between pathogen-avoidance motivations and prejudice toward various social groups, including gay men and lesbian women. It is currently unknown whether this association is present across cultures, or specific to North America. Analyses of survey data from adult heterosexuals ( N = 11,200) from 31 countries show...
Article
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Anthropogenic disturbance causes biodiversity loss, and consequently the captive conser�vation (ex situ) of threatened animals may be an effective strategy in protecting species. We used estimated body mass, phylogenetic closeness with humans, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) conservation status, and species attractiveness scor...
Article
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The threat of diseases varies considerably among individuals, and it has been found to be linked to various proactive or reactive behaviors. In the present studies, we investigated the impact of individual differences in the perceived vulnerability to disease (PVD) on social touch before (Study 1) or during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) p...
Article
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Human females use numerous signals to attract male attention which can be ultimately motivated by enhanced paternal investment in the offspring. Sexual vocalization is a form of female sexual signaling. The majority of hypotheses attempting to explain the functional significance of vocalizations have been applied on non-human primates, while resear...
Article
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A wide range of literature connects sex ratio and mating behaviours in non-human animals. However, research examining sex ratio and human mating is limited in scope. Prior work has examined the relationship between sex ratio and desire for short-term, uncommitted mating as well as outcomes such as marriage and divorce rates. Less empirical attentio...
Article
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Flower opening and closure is a crucial process in pollinator attraction. The duration of flower lifespan, the time between flower opening and closure, represents a trade-off between pollinator attraction and the cost of flower maintenance caused by increased respiration and transpiration rates, particularly when ambient temperature is high. Moreov...
Article
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Disgust is a basic emotion which protects individuals from potential contamination. It is hypothesized that disgust evolved primarily as a mechanism against oral contamination or as a strategy against disease infections in general. We investigated visual attention to disgusting oral (rotten food) and non-oral (e.g., a tick) and control (e.g., a gul...
Article
Full-text available
A wide range of literature connects sex ratio and mating behaviours in non-human animals. However, research examining sex ratio and human mating is limited in scope. Prior work has examined the relationship between sex ratio and desire for short-term, uncommitted mating as well as outcomes such as marriage and divorce rates. Less empirical attentio...
Article
Full-text available
A wide range of literature connects sex ratio and mating behaviours in non-human animals. However, research examining sex ratio and human mating is limited in scope. Prior work has examined the relationship between sex ratio and desire for short-term, uncommitted mating as well as outcomes such as marriage and divorce rates. Less empirical attentio...
Article
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Namesaking (naming a child after a parent or other relative) can be viewed as a mechanism to increase perceived parent-child similarity and, consequently, parental investment. Male and, to a lesser extent, firstborn children are more frequently namesakes than female and later-born children, respectively. However, a direct link between namesaking an...
Article
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Human–animal relationships have long been the subject of controversy because they are shaped by several cultural, inter-individual, and evolutionary factors. Understanding these relationships, however, is important to optimize conservation efforts. There is agreement that perceived similarity between animals and humans is associated with more posit...
Article
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The quality of human-animal interactions may crucially influence conservation efforts. Unfortunately, and despite their important roles in the functioning of the ecosystem, some animals are considered notoriously unpopular. Using the forced-choice paradigm, we investigated which cues humans perceive as frightening and disgusting in spiders, one of...
Article
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Animal Welfare Attitudes (AWA) can be defined as the attitudes of humans towards the welfare of animals. Although AWA has been previously associated with demographic factors as gender, one of the main limitations is that few studies applied robust psychometric questionnaire scales. Moreover, some evidence of cross-cultural variations in AWA have bee...
Article
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Plants are crucial parts of ecosystems but are traditionally considered boring and difficult by students. It is therefore not clear whether factual knowledge about plants contributes to building positive attitudes and interest in botany. We investigated whether factual knowledge about monocotyledonous plants is associated with secondary students' a...
Chapter
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The aim of the present chapter is to present theoretical and empirical arguments in support of the existence of a defense system against pathogens: the Behavioral Immune System (BIS). Complementary to the well-known biological immune system, this system represents a recent theoretical proposition which has given rise to an increasing number of stud...
Article
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Interpersonal touch behavior differs across cultures, yet no study to date has systematically tested for cultural variation in affective touch, nor examined the factors that might account for this variability. Here, over 14,000 individuals from 45 countries were asked whether they embraced, stroked, kissed, or hugged their partner, friends, and you...
Article
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The Emerald Jewel Wasp Ampulex compressa attacks the cockroach (Periplaneta americana) which serves as the host of the parasite and injects venom directly into the cockroach's central nervous system. The cockroach responds by excessive grooming and cleaning its entire body with its legs and mandibles. The antimicrobial hypothesis suggests that self...
Article
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1. In various insect and spiders, males offer nuptial food gifts to females during copulation that enhance male fitness either directly through their effects on male fertilization success or indirectly through the nutritional benefits delivering for females. However, the physiological costs of producing these gifts remain largely unexplored. 2. We...
Article
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The human brain is limited by its capacity and incapable of memorizing all information. The memory system evolved to give preference to memory information related to maintaining and increasing individual fitness. We have chosen fungi, a heavily neglected area in science education research, to investigate which kind of information about mushrooms wi...
Article
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Snakes play a crucial role in natural ecosystems, providing ecological services to people by decreasing rodent populations which may cause disease transmission and impair agricultural production. Despite these benefits, snakes are historically a target of persecution and negative attitudes across cultures, and many of them are threatened. Understan...
Article
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Almost sixty years after the first published plea for more systematic research on thrips in Slovakia, the checklist undisputedly requires an appropriate revision with a special emphasis on the economic consequences of climate change and biological commodity trade globalisation synergic effects, followed by the dynamic and significant changes in the...
Article
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Flower shapes, colors, sizes and fragrances are shaped mostly for pollinator attraction. Flower phenotypes are, however, subjected to conflicting selection directed by both pollinators and non-pollinating agents. We investigated flower attractiveness to a model pollinator in the snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis L.) under laboratory conditions. Naïve bum...
Article
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The Triangular Theory of Love (measured with Sternberg’s Triangular Love Scale – STLS) is a prominent theoretical concept in empirical research on love. To expand the culturally homogeneous body of previous psychometric research regarding the STLS, we conducted a large-scale cross-cultural study with the use of this scale. In total, we examined mor...
Article
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Prostitution is an exchange of sexual services for economic profit which predominantly reflects men’s desire for sexually attractive women. These preferences could be shaped by sexual selection, as a woman’s sexual attractiveness is believed to be a cue of fertility. Using data from Polish prostitutes, we investigated whether cues of fertility are...
Article
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Although snakes play key roles in the functioning of various ecosystems, they have been among the most persecuted groups of animals. To enhance conservation efforts, we employed research on perceptions about snakes differing in body coloration. We investigated the bright coloration hypothesis, which suggests that bright (aposematic) coloration trig...
Article
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Considerable research has examined human mate preferences across cultures, finding universal sex differences in preferences for attractiveness and resources as well as sources of systematic cultural variation. Two competing perspectives—an evolutionary psychological perspective and a biosocial role perspective—offer alternative explanations for the...
Article
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According to the extended phenotype hypothesis, certain parasites manipulate the host's behaviour which ultimately enhances the transmission of parasite genes into the next generation. The parasitoid wasp Ampulex compressa attacks and stings its cockroach Periplaneta americana host and lays an egg on the cockroach's leg. Before the wasp's ovipositi...
Article
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Engaging in risky behaviors is a sexual signalling strategy that men use to procure mates. The present study investigates men’s preferences for engaging in risky behaviors (along with women’s preferences for their male partner’s risky behavior) within dating couples. We investigated associations between relationship length, self-perceived attractiv...
Article
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To increase their reproductive success, ancestral males must show preferences for fertile females. Gravid females are infertile, and, thus, should be less preferred by males compared with non-gravid females.We investigated this idea bymanipulating salient cues of pregnancy with a sample of Slovak females who were rated by males. Physical attractive...
Article
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Humans express a wide array of ideal mate preferences. Around the world, people desire romantic partners who are intelligent, healthy, kind, physically attractive, wealthy, and more. In order for these ideal preferences to guide the choice of actual romantic partners, human mating psychology must possess a means to integrate information across thes...
Article
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Imagining fictional creatures like zombies in survival situations boosts long-term memory for words encoded in these situations more than rating words for pleasantness (zombie effect). Study 1 required word-ratings in a zombie-survival scenario; participants were told they had to protect against either possible zombie attack or contamination. The z...
Article
Mate choice lies close to differential reproduction, the engine of evolution. Patterns of mate choice consequently have power to direct the course of evolution. Here we provide evidence suggesting one pattern of human mate choice—the tendency for mates to be similar in overall desirability—caused the evolution of a structure of correlations that we...
Article
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Females use various behavioural tactics in order to attract the attention of a desirable mate. Wearing high heels enhances female physical attractiveness for the opposite sex, thus their use seems to be a powerful sexual signal. We investigated female preferences for high heels both in everyday life as well as in a hypothetical mating scenario. Slo...
Article
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Students of various age groups manifest numerous explanations that differ from what is known to be scientifically correct. Misconceptions about the human body are one of the best studied areas of students’ understanding of scientific phenomena. To explore misconceptions, researchers have at their disposal various methods which can lead to different...
Article
Sexual signals produced by males are costly. Thus, sexual selection may favour males who are able to minimise these costs, but are still reproductively successful. I investigated male preferences for large and small prey used to produce nuptial gifts, which serve as sexual signals in the nursery web spider, Pisaura mirabilis. Males showed strong pr...
Article
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Children’s ideas, which differ from a scientific view, are termed as alternative conceptions (AC). AC are extremely resistant to change and arise from everyday experience. Investigation of children’s AC about weight gain and their ability to discriminate between healthy and unhealthy foods is important, because it can help teachers reduce obesity a...
Article
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The strength of sexual selection on secondary sexual traits varies depending on prevailing economic and ecological conditions. In humans, cross-cultural evidence suggests women’s preferences for men’s testosterone dependent masculine facial traits are stronger under conditions where health is compromised, male mortality rates are higher and economi...
Article
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Nuptial feeding has variable effects on fitness within a species, partly driven by variation in female diet. We investigate nuptial feeding in the spider Pisaura mirabilis (Clerck, 1757) under a feeding regime that has not been explored: Starvation after mating and gift consumption. We vary gift size and gift number to examine the effects on mating...
Chapter
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Synonyms Harlotry; Streetwalking; Whoredom Definition A sexual activity provided by women, men, and transsexuals in exchange for payment.
Article
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Human cognition is influenced by natural selection which results in better information retention related to survival and faster visual recognition of potential threat. Plants are excellent models for studying human preferences because of the long evolutionary connectedness of humans with plants as food sources, although research in this field is sc...
Article
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Laughter is a nonverbal vocalization occurring in every known culture, ubiquitous across all forms of human social interaction. Here, we examined whether listeners around the world, irrespective of their own native language and culture, can distinguish between spontaneous laughter and volitional laughter—laugh types likely generated by different vo...
Article
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Women show cyclical shifts in preferences for physical male traits. Here we investigated how fertility status influences women’s facial masculinity preference in men by analyzing a large sample of heterosexual women (N = 3720). Women were regularly either cycling (in both low- and high-conception probability groups), lactating or were currently in...
Article
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A new phenomenon, which increasingly rises among the young generation all over the world, is Internet addiction. Information and communication technology (ICT) has a major influence not only on individual sectors of the national economy (services, industry, agriculture, etc.), but also on free time activities and interests of the young generation....
Article
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Aims The aim of this study was to investigate cognitive performance and BMI of patients with dementia living in their own homes with family members, nursing homes and alone. Design A prospective observational cohort study with a quantitative design. Method Mini–mental state examination (MMSE) scores and BMI were examined with a sample of Slovak p...
Article
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Bat populations continue to decline worldwide because of myriad human activities. To enhance bat conservation, human behavior needs to change. Such change can occur, in part, through an understanding of what motivates human actions toward bats. We used a Bat Attitude Questionnaire (BAQ) to investigate attitudes toward bats in people (n = 394) livin...
Article
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Given the known relationship between eveningness and sociosexuality among females, the aims of this study were: (a) to analyze this relationship in four countries using midsleep time on free days and morning affect measures of morningness–eveningness and (b) to test the role of dark personality andother relevant control variables in this relationsh...
Article
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Certain animals have represented a danger to humans in terms of a predation and pathogen threat over our evolutionary history. It is therefore adaptive for people to respond to a potential threat faster than to harmless events. Using simple choice tasks, the reaction time of children to predators, disease carriers and aposematically coloured animal...
Article
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Although hands-on activities significantly improve achievement and attitudes toward animals, the use of the aesthetically unpleasant is questionable. We investigated whether the use of woodlouse, as an example of an unpopular animal, alters children's conservation attitudes, disgust for and knowledge of woodlice. The experimental group (n = 116), b...
Article
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Snakes elicit a higher level of fear than other vertebrate animals, yet specific cues responsible for fear of snakes are equivocal. The bright colouration hypothesis suggests that fear responses to snakes are triggered by aposematic colouration, not by snakes per se. We investigated the role of aposematic colouration in fear of snakes in a sample o...
Article
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1799 prospective elementary and prospective science teachers from six countries (Croatia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey) participate in the study about the level of motivation toward science courses, pedagogy courses and self-efficacy. The most important findings were that choosing educational career as the first choice o...
Article
ABSTRACT: Background: 1799 prospective elementary and prospective science teachers from six countries (Croatia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey) participate in the study about the level of motivation toward science courses, pedagogy courses and self-efficacy. Material and methods: The most important findings were that choos...
Article
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The most northern record of Microcephalothrips abdominalis (Crawford, 1910) (Thysanoptera, Thripidae) in Europe and the first record in Slovakia was described. The climate change induced introduction in synergy with biological commodity trade globalisation may support the ability of exotic elements to establish adequate populations with suitable fi...