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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.

Derosis, L.E. (1952). Some Techniques of Group Therapy. Am. J. Psychoanal., 12(1):79-79.

(1952). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 12(1):79-79

Some Techniques of Group Therapy

Louis E. Derosis

The group analytic situation affirms the importance of identifying and mobilizing whatever “real self” elements can be discovered in the various group individuals. The indications are clear that without such a process brought into operation quickly, a condition not dissimilar from one of total war would soon prevail in the therapeutic situation, with a consequent rapid dissolution of the group.

The group therapeutic process is viewed as a macrocosm in which several microcosms are operating. Left to its own devices, however, it can not continue to exist. For this reason the analyst must be prepared to take a very active part in its continuity. The forces that make for explosive fragmentation require constant, vigilant attendance and omnipresent meaningful participation. This means that the fullest familiarity on the part of the therapist with theory is required. In addition, it would seem highly desirable that he be well on the way in his own personal analysis. We are emphasizing at this point the importance of accessibility to his own feelings and their nuances.

Of prime concern in this connection is the importance of creating the spirit of the scientific laboratory for the major obstructive force which seems to be encountered at the outset and is the one in which the group situation is not viewed constantly as a therapeutic one, but rather as a “personal” one—personal in the sense of the usual neurotic demand that their needs be considered first, etc.

[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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