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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.

Mahler, M.S. (1969). Autismo y simbiosis: dos trastornos extremos de la identidad. Rev. psicoanál., 26(1):201-216.
    

(1969). Revista de Psicoanálisis, 26(1):201-216

Autismo y simbiosis: dos trastornos extremos de la identidad

Margaret S. Mahler

Mi hipótesis acerca de las psicosis infantiles está basada en dos conceptos fundamentales de Freud; se trata de una proposición casi socio-biológica. Como señala Freud, mientras el animal posee una facultad instintiva para percibir el peligro en el mundo externo, que le permite dar los pasos adecuados para enfrentarlo, dicha facultad está atrofiada en el ser humano. En éste, el Yo debe hacerse cargo de la prueba de realidad que el Ello descuida. La situación del infante humano se ve enormemente empeorada por otra circunstancia biológica, a saber, el hecho de que nace en una etapa más temprana y menos madura del desarrollo físico que cualquier otro mamífero. Estas dos circunstancias interrelacionadas, a saber: 1) la atrofia del instinto de autoconservación y 2) la inmadurez de los aparatos en el momento del nacimiento, traen como resultado la total dependencia del ser humano para su misma supervivencia del cuidado de una madre o un sustituto materno durante un largo período. Mucho después de nacer, el niño sigue necesitando una simbiosis social, característica de la especie, con la madre. Intentaré demostrar que los síndromes de las psicosis infantiles tempranas, tanto del tipo auttsta como del simbiótico, representan fijaciones o regresiones a las dos primeras etapas de “indiferenciación” dentro de esta temprana unidad madre-niño.

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