Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
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.

Ahlskog, G. (1993). Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Religion: Transference and Transcendence. James W. Jones. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991, 144 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 80(2):311-313.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Review, 80(2):311-313


Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Religion: Transference and Transcendence. James W. Jones. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991, 144 pp.

Review by:
Gary Ahlskog, Ph.D.

In this short book James W. Jones provides distillations of the views of over 15 theorists and 3 theologians, with emphasis given to Winnicott and Kohut. Particulars of religious experience are noted where feasible within an overall discussion of developmental dynamics and adult experience. Sometimes Jones is meticulous in this task. For example, Meissner's use of transitional as a predicate referring to objects on the boundary between inner and outer is differentiated from Winnicott's use of this term to designate the object's function in facilitating movement from infantile subjectivism to adult objectivity (pp. 41-42). Rizzuto's emphasis on internalized objects as (mutable) perceptual memories and representations is contrasted with Winnicott's focus on internalized object-relationships as forerunners of the adult's creative capacities (pp. 45-47). The result of these efforts is an overview of the object-relations and self-psychological currents in our recent intellectual history.

The concept of transcendence, heralded in the tide, disappears in the text in deference to a discussion of developmental transformations. Jones builds from the Kohutian premise that a self only exists within a selfobject matrix plus die Winnicottian premise diat diere can be no final sortings between objectivity and subjectivity. Additional contributions from Bollas, Buber, and Loewald are interwoven to reach die following thesis: Transformation of a person's religious experience (from childish or pathological to audientically mature) would entail recovering a kind of primary process capacity to personalize fresh encounters with objects (persons, nature, music, symbols, God representations) that recapitulate basic needs and are nominated as sacred because they promote rebirth (different experiencing) of self in relation to world.

This complex line of thinking is one widi which I am in basic agreement (Ahlskog, 1990). All patients can discuss the God they do not believe in (Jones, p. 14). All experiences of self and world invariably contain some type of “affective bond widi the sacred” (p.

[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.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.