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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.

Lichtenstein, H. (1964). The Role of Narcissism in the Emergence and Maintenance of a Primary Identity. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 45:49-56.

(1964). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 45:49-56

The Role of Narcissism in the Emergence and Maintenance of a Primary Identity

Heinz Lichtenstein

FEW concepts are as pivotal in psycho-analytic theory as the concept of narcissism. It serves simultaneously as the conceptual support for a new departure in the libido theory, and for the study of the development of object relations, with far-reaching consequences for the clinical approach to the psychoneuroses and the psychoses. In addition, it is the anchor for the new ego psychology, and, last but not least, on it rests, as a basis, the structural reformulation of metapsychology. It is not surprising therefore that a concept which must support such a multitude of theoretical edifices is at once indispensable and yet exposed to an extraordinary degree of 'conceptual stress'. In this sense narcissism can still be spoken of, as Jones (1955) did, as a 'disturbing' concept. As a consequence, there have been numerous attempts to redefine it, make it handier by eliminating some of its original, Freudian connotations, replace some of its uses with new, more specific terms, etc. (Balint, 1960); (Bing et al., 1959); (Jacobson, 1954); (Kaywin, 1957).

This paper endeavours to contribute to these efforts at obtaining a clearer view of what is implied in the concept of narcissism. It hopes to accomplish this result, however, by a somewhat different approach to the problem. This approach consists of the somewhat paradoxically sounding attempt to differentiate between a variety of psychological phenomena that are all condensed in the one concept of narcissism, and simultaneously to pay close attention to the underlying truth which justifies Freud's insistence on uniting all the phenomena under one single concept.

[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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