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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.

Johansen, M.S. Rø, F.G. Karterud, S.W. Normann-Eide, E. Kvarstein, E.H. Wilberg, T. (2018). The Relationship between Reflective Functioning and Affect Consciousness in Patients with Avoidant and Borderline Personality Disorders. Psychoanal. Psychol., 35(4):382-393.
  

(2018). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 35(4):382-393

The Relationship between Reflective Functioning and Affect Consciousness in Patients with Avoidant and Borderline Personality Disorders

Merete S. Johansen, M.D., Ph.D., Frida G. Rø, M.S., Ph.D., Sigmund W. Karterud, M.D., Ph.D., Eivind Normann-Eide, Elfrida H. Kvarstein, M.D., Ph.D. and Theresa Wilberg, M.D., Ph.D.

Avoidant personality disorder (APD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD) are the most frequent personality disorders (PDs) in clinical practice. Although BPD research dominates the field, both PDs are clearly associated with severe functional impairments and substantial treatment challenges. Few have investigated the relationship between core personality vulnerabilities across PDs. However, such research has high clinical relevance, could expand our understanding of the distinct nature of the disorders, and thus have important therapeutic implications. Central PD vulnerabilities have been conceptualized in two, possibly overlapping, constructs: mentalization and affect consciousness (AC). The interrelationship between mentalizing and AC and PD specific differences are, as yet, not well established. The present study investigated the relationship between mentalizing capacity and AC among 73 treatment-seeking patients with APD and/or BPD, 81% females. Mentalization was measured by assessment of reflective functioning (RF) from transcripts of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). AC was measured by using the Affect Consciousness Interview (ACI). In this mixed PD sample, the RF and AC scores indicated poor functioning and correlations between RF and AC were low to moderately positive. In the PD-specific subgroups, correlations between RF and AC were positive (moderate to high) in the APD group (n = 26), but insignificant in the BPD group (n = 33). In conclusion, the positive relationship between RF and AC may not be generalized to all types of psychopathology. Our results indicate a strong relationship between impaired AC and poor mentalizing capacities among APD patients in particular.

[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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