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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.

Weinstock, C. (1976). Dreams Stimulated by the Analyst-Patient Relationship. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 4(2):161-170.
   

(1976). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 4(2):161-170

Dreams Stimulated by the Analyst-Patient Relationship

Charles Weinstock

The first dream during analytic therapy, as well as obvious “transferencedreams, recurrent dreams, and dream sequences within a particular night or several successive nights, have been the subjects of much psychoanalytic literature and discussion, while dreams in other, special, situations have received less attention.

This article describes two dreams clearly related to immediately preceding important changes in the overt and inner therapist-patient relationship. In each example an unusual stimulus occurs during a scheduled session (a). A dream, apparently centering around the stimulus, is presented and worked on in the next session (b); and in the third session (c) of the sequence another dream(s) is central and leads further towards resolution. (Counter-transferential aspects lie beyond the scope of this article.)

Example 1. John L., a 30-year-old lawyer, came with symptoms of general sexual inhibition, marked sexual impotence, and unas-sertiveness in the courtroom. He had been brought up in a harsh religious atmosphere. He described feeling, occasionally, as if there were heavy weights on his shoulders since preadolescence. These feelings were often associated with masturbatory impulses. After eight months of treatment directed at uncovering his harsh introjects from childhood-familial and otherwise—he was able to have intercourse with complete success for the first time in his life. (Therapy had, however, largely been intellectualized, and an attempt to have him enter group had resulted in flight after one group session, some months earlier.)

[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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