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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.

Garma (1944). Bergler, E.: A contribution to the psychoanalysis of “déjà vu”. (Una contribución al psicoanálisis del “déjà vu”.) “Psychoanalytic Quarterly”. 1942, t. 11, pág. 165.. Rev. psicoanál., 2(2):370-371.

(1944). Revista de Psicoanálisis, 2(2):370-371

Bergler, E.: A contribution to the psychoanalysis of “déjà vu”. (Una contribución al psicoanálisis del “déjà vu”.) “Psychoanalytic Quarterly”. 1942, t. 11, pág. 165.

Review by:
Garma

Freud, en 1912, publicó el primer caso de psicoanálisis de una sensación de déjà vu. Provenía de una represión de deseos de muerte hacia un hermano, que se presentaron en dos situaciones distintas, pero que fueron psíquicamente homologadas. Ahora bien, estando reprimidos los deseos homicidas y, consecutivamente, la situación primera, al hallarse en la segunda situación el yo solo tiene la impresión vaga de haberla vivido ya anteriormente.

Algo análogo es la sensación de un enamorado, de haber conocido siempre a la persona que quiere. La causa de este déjà vu reside en que la persona querida satisface deseos que ya se presentaron en la infancia en relación con los objetos edípicos y que luego fueron reprimidos.

En estos casos la represión se refiere a deseos del ello. El autor describe otros dos casos en que lo reprimido parece ser exigencias del superyó. Así el primero es el de un individuo con tendencias cleptomaníacas. Tuvo la impresión del déjà vu en el momento de observar a un pariente autor de varios robos. Según el autor el deseo reprimido sería un reproche del superyó de ser también él un tramposa. (Se podría objetar que en toda represión se hacen inconscientes tanto las fuerzas represoras como las reprimidas y que, por lo tanto, en todo déjà vu deben intervenir los dos factores.

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