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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.

Balint, M. (1948). On Genital Love. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 29:34-40.

(1948). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 29:34-40

On Genital Love

Michael Balint

If one reads the psycho-analytical literature for references to genital love to one's surprise two striking facts emerge; (a) much less has been written on genital love than on pregenital love (e.g. 'genital love' is missing from the indices of Fenichel's new text-book); and of Nunberg's Allgemeine Neurosenlehre); (b) almost everything that has been written on genital love is negative like Abraham's description of his famous term 'postambivalent phase'. We know fairly well what an ambivalent love relation is—of postambivalent love we know hardly more than that it is, or at least ought to be, no longer ambivalent.

This emphasis on the negative qualities, i.e. on those which have, or ought to have been, superseded in the course of development blurs the whole picture. It is not the presence of certain positive qualities that is accentuated only the absence of certain others.

To avoid this pitfall let us examine an ideal case of such postambivalent genital love that has no traces of ambivalency and in addition no traces of pregenital object relationship:

a. There should be no greediness, no insatiability, no wish to devour the object, to deny it any independent existence, etc., i.e. there should be no oral features;

b. There should be no wish to hurt, to humiliate, to boss, to dominate the object, etc., i.e. no sadistic features;

c. There should be no wish to defile the partner, to despise him (her) for his (her) sexual desires and pleasures, there should be no danger of being disgusted by the partner or being attracted only by some unpleasant features of him, etc.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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