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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.

Moncayo, R. (2006). The Partial Object, the Ideal Ego, the Ego-Ideal, and the Empty Subject: Four Degrees of Differentiation within Narcissism. Psychoanal. Rev., 93(4):565-602.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Review, 93(4):565-602

The Partial Object, the Ideal Ego, the Ego-Ideal, and the Empty Subject: Four Degrees of Differentiation within Narcissism

Raul Moncayo

Overall, Freud's theory has a built-in tension and ambiguity between a developmental and a structural concept of narcissism. On the developmental side, Freud (1911) first conceived of narcissism as a phase of sexual development wherein the individual begins taking his or her own body as a love object. In line with this perspective, Freud defined primary narcissism as corresponding to the ego-representation involved in this sexual phase of development, where the ego loves the image of his or her own body. Secondary narcissism was then defined as a regressive and pathological return to the primary narcissism of early childhood. Narcissism in this account is a primitive and temporary phase of development that, if unchecked, becomes ultimately pathological. The narcissistic or ego-centered phase of development, in which an object relationship does not exist, needs to be abandoned in favor of a more advanced object-oriented phase of development. However, the limitation of establishing an absolute developmental difference between a narcissistic and an object phase of development is that subject and object co-arise or mutually determine each other. Narcissistic and object love are interrelated.

On the other hand, in his paper on narcissism, Freud (1914) considers the ego as a reservoir of libidinal cathexis from whence the latter are issued toward objects. Laplanche and Pontalis (1973) have pointed out that such an energetic definition presupposes a structural rather than a stadial or temporal conception of narcissism.

[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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