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Tip: Understanding Rank

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

When you do a search, you can sort the results bibliographically alphabetical or by “rank”. What is Rank?

Rank refers to the search engine’s “best guess” as to the relevance of the result to the search you specified. The exact method of ranking used varies a bit depending on the search. In its most basic level, when you specify a single search term, rank looks at the density of the matches for the word in the document, and how close to the beginning of the document they appear as a measure of importance to the paper’s topic. The documents with the most matches and where the term is deemed to have the most importance, have the highest “relevance” and are ranked first (presented first).

When you specify more than one term to appear anywhere in the article, the method is similar, but the search engine looks at how many of those terms appear, and how close together they appear, how close to the beginning of the document, and can even take into account the relative rarity of the search terms and their density in the retrieved file, where infrequent terms count more heavily than common terms.

To see a simple example of this, search for the words (not the phrase, so no quotes):

unconscious communications

Look at the density of matches in each document on the first page of the hits. Then go to the last page of matched documents, and observe the density of matches within the documents.

A more complex search illustrates this nicely with a single page and only 15 matches:

counter*tr* w/25 “liv* out” w/25 enact*

There are a lot of word forms and variants of the words (due to the * wildcards) above that can match, but the proximity (w/25) clause limits the potential for matching. What’s interesting here though is how easily you can see the match density decrease as you view down the short list.

The end result of selecting order by rank is that the search engine’s best “guess” as to which articles are more relevant appear higher on the list than less relevant articles.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Klein, M. (1929). Personification in the Play of Children. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 10:193-204.

(1929). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 10:193-204

Personification in the Play of Children

Melanie Klein

In an earlier paper I gave an account of some of the mechanisms which I have found in my analysis of children to be fundamental in their play. I pointed out that the specific content of their play, which recurs again and again in the most varied forms, is identical with the nucleus of the masturbation-phantasies and that it is one of the principal functions of children's play to provide a discharge for these phantasies. Further, I discussed the very considerable analogy which exists between the means of representation used in play and in dreams and the importance of wish-fulfilment in both forms of mental activity I also drew attention to one principal mechanism in games in which different characters are invented and allotted by the child. My object in the present paper is to discuss this mechanism in more detail and also to illustrate by a number of examples of different types of illness the relation between the 'characters' or personifications introduced by them into these games and the element of wish-fulfilment.

My experience so far is that schizophrenic children are not capable of play in the proper sense. They perform certain monotonous actions, and it is a laborious piece of work to penetrate from these to the Ucs. When we do succeed, we find that the wish-fulfilment associated with these actions is pre-eminently the negation of reality and the inhibition of phantasy. In these extreme cases no 'characters' ever appear.

In the case of my little patient, Erna, who was six years old when we began the treatment, a severe obsessional neurosis marked a paranoia which was revealed after a considerable amount of analysis. In her play Erna often made me be a child, while she was the mother or a teacher. I then had to undergo fantastic tortures and humiliations. If in the game anyone treated me kindly, it generally turned out that the kindness was only simulated. The paranoiac symptoms showed in the fact that I was constantly spied upon, people divined my thoughts, and the father or teacher allied themselves with the mother against me—in fact, I was always surrounded with persecutors.

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