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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.

Arlow, J.A. (1963). CONFLICTO, REGRESIÓN Y FORMACIÓN DE SÍNTOMAS. Rev. psicoanál., 20(1):1-19.

(1963). Revista de Psicoanálisis, 20(1):1-19

CONFLICTO, REGRESIÓN Y FORMACIÓN DE SÍNTOMAS

Jacob A. Arlow

El propósito de este trabajo es considerar ciertos problemas de formación de síntomas y carácter partiendo de recientes descubrimientos de la teoría psicoanalítica. Estos descubrimientos se han originado en la hipótesis estructural y en la nueva teoría de la angustia, la teoría de la “señal”.

El moderno marco de referencia de la teoría psicoanalítica otorga un significado especial al rol del conflicto intrapsíquico, basado en el interjuego de tendencias opuestas que ocurre en la mente. Estas tendencias representan tendencias mentales características y consistentes, que pueden ser agrupadas de acuerdo con sus funciones específicas. En esta hipótesis los instrumentos de la mente se definen, en realidad, por medio de las funciones asignadas a ellos. La conducta consistente, repetitiva, organizada y generalmente predecible que califica a estos instrumentos de la mente, nos permite considerar al yo, al ello y al superyo como “estructuras mentales”, claro está que sólo en un sentido funcional. Cuando el yo integra armoniosamente el interjuego de fuerzas opuestas es muy difícil, si no imposible, demarcar los límites de las estructuras que componen la mente (Anna Freud, 1936). Por otra parte, las situaciones caracterizadas por un intenso conflicto intrapsíquico revelan con mayor claridad la diferenciación entre yo, ello y superyo.

[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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