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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.

Peräkylä, A. (2010). Shifting the Perspective after the Patient's Response to an Interpretation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 91(6):1363-1384.

(2010). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 91(6):1363-1384

Shifting the Perspective after the Patient's Response to an Interpretation

Anssi Peräkylä

(Final version accepted 9 March 2010)

Psychoanalytic interpretation is normally understood as a sequence of two utterances: the analyst gives an interpretation and the patient responds to it. This paper suggests that, in the interpretative sequence, there is also a third utterance where psychoanalytic work takes place. This third interpretative turn involves the analyst's action after the patient's response to the interpretation. Using conversation analysis as method in the examination of audio-recorded psychoanalytic sessions, the paper will explicate the psychoanalytic work that gets done in third interpretative, turns. Through it, the analyst takes a stance towards the patient's understandings of the interpretation, which are shown in the patient's response to the interpretation. The third interpretative turns on one hand ratify and accept the patient's understandings, but, in addition to that, they also introduce a shift of perspective relative to them. In most cases, the shift of perspective is implicit but sometimes it is made explicit. The shifts of perspective bring to the foreground aspects or implications of the interpretation that were not incorporated in the patient's response. They recast the description of the patient's experience by showing new layers or more emotional intensity in it. The results are discussed in the light of Faimberg's concept of listening to listening and Schlesinger's concept of follow-up interpretation.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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