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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.

Reinoso, D.G. (1956). Novey, S.: The role of the superego and ego-ideal in character formation. (El papel del superyo y del yo ideal en la formación del carácter). Internat. J. Psychoanal. 1955, 36, 254-259.. Rev. psicoanál., 13(1):78-79.

(1956). Revista de Psicoanálisis, 13(1):78-79

Novey, S.: The role of the superego and ego-ideal in character formation. (El papel del superyo y del yo ideal en la formación del carácter). Internat. J. Psychoanal. 1955, 36, 254-259.

Review by:
Diego García Reinoso

Dice el autor que la mayor preocupación actual por un más profundo conocimiento del análisis de los trastornos del carácter y los modernos conceptos sobre el yo, hacen necesaria una revisión de nuestros conceptos sobre el superyo y el yo ideal. En lo que a los trastornos de carácter se refiere, las investigaciones han llevado a poner de manifiesto la importancia de las fases preedípicas y edípicas en la aparición de los mismos, pero se ha descuidado la investigación de los estadios posteriores: latencia, pubertad, adolescencia y vida adulta, cuya importancia recalca. Por los mismos motivos, dice, es necesario considerar al superyo, no como una instancia estática y rígida, sino como un complejo modelo de conducta para posteriores introyecciones susceptible de experimentar cambios a través de influencias accidentales. Señala que la importancia que se concede, en nuestra cultura, a la educación, es un índice de que esta modificación es posible, fuera de todo tratamiento psicoanalítico.

La separación del superyo y el yo ideal, ofrece la posibilidad de comprender el papel de la introyección en la formación del carácter.

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