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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.

Beebe, B. Lachmann, F.M. Jaffe, J. (1997). Mother-Infant Interaction Structures and Presymbolic Self- and Object Representations. Psychoanal. Dial., 7(2):133-182.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 7(2):133-182

Mother-Infant Interaction Structures and Presymbolic Self- and Object Representations Related Papers

Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D., Frank M. Lachmann, Ph.D. and Joseph Jaffe, M.D.

Using research on the purely social face-to-face exchange, we examine patterns of mother-infant interaction and their relevance for the presymbolic origins of self and object representations, focusing on the representation of inter-relatedness between self and object. Based on a dyadic systems view in which the system is defined by both self- and interactive-regulation processes, we argue that characteristic patterns of self and interactive regulation form early interaction structures, which provide an important basis for emerging self and object representations. What will be represented, presymbolically, is the dynamic interactive process itself, the interplay, as each partner influences the other from moment to moment. This is a dynamic, process view of “interactive” or “dyadic” representations. The argument that early interaction structures organize experience is based on a transformational model in which there are continuous transformations and restructurings, where development is in a constant state of active reorganization. To define the capacities on which a presymbolic representational capacity is based, we review the last decade's research on infant perception and memory, which has radically changed our concepts of representation. The interaction structures

we describe illustrate the salience of arousal, affect, space, and time in the early organization of experience: (1) state transforming, the expectation that an arousal state can be transformed through the contribution of the partner; (2) facial mirroring, the expectation of matching and being matched in the direction of affective change; (3) disruption and repair, the expectation of degree of ease and rapidity of interactive repair following facial-visual mismatches; (4) “chase and dodge,” the expectation of the misregulation and derailment of spatial-orientation patterns, without repair; and (5) interpersonal timing, the expectation of degree of vocal rhythm matching.

[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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