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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.

Lanyado, M. (1989). Variations on the Theme of Transference & Counter-Transference in the Treatment of a Ten Year Old Boy. J. Child Psychother., 15(2):85-101.

(1989). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 15(2):85-101

Variations on the Theme of Transference & Counter-Transference in the Treatment of a Ten Year Old Boy

Monica Lanyado

There are, inevitably, certain patients in our professional lives who affect us more than others. Not only do they affect us more, they actually have a very profound emotional impact on us. As a consequence of this, in order to help these patients, the therapist has to struggle to understand, and not become defended against, the powerful feelings that they experience towards the patient. It is these feelings that are the pathway to being able to understand the urgent, non-verbal communications that the patient is desperately projecting into the therapist (Heimann, 1956; Racker, 1957).

Transference and counter-transference are at the heart of any psychoanalytical therapy and are, ideally, flexibly utilised in every therapy undertaken, according to the receptivity of the patient to such an approach. Transference interpretations may be very rare in some therapies, but frequent in others. The likelihood is that regardless of frequency of transference interpretation, the therapist is using their understanding of the transference/counter-transference process to guide all their responses, verbal and nonverbal, to the patient. There are, however, some patients who enter therapy with an intensity of feeling and need that affects the therapist much more deeply and on a more personal level than others do. The anxiety that is immediately raised is that this is possibly unprofessional over-involvement and due to some neurotic pattern in the therapist which the patient unwittingly fits into.

[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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