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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.

Rendon, M. (1991). Hegel and Horney. Am. J. Psychoanal., 51(3):285-299.

(1991). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 51(3):285-299

Hegel and Horney

Mario Rendon, M.D.

In reading a psychoanalytic pioneer such as Karen Horney, one always wonders who influenced her thinking and what was her frame of reference. There is no evidence in reading Horney's biographies that she may have been interested in philosophy or that she may have read Hegel. However, the similarity between some of Hegel and Horney's concepts, as we will see, make it plausible to speculate that, perhaps indirectly, she was influenced by the great German philosopher. We do not know how much regular German education emphasized Hegel at the time of Horney's studies. We know that Horney had a close friendship with Erik Fromm, who, as a member of the so called Frankfurt School, was quite familiar with Hegel. We do not know to what extent Horney's concepts were influenced by her friendship with Fromm. Fromm and Horney's common ground is perhaps best seen in the elaboration of the concept of alienation, a Hegelian concept. This paper will present a brief introduction to Hegel's philosophy emphasizing the psychological component and particularly those concepts commonly utilized by both Hegel and Horney.

Hegel'S Background

Hegel was trorn in 1770, at a time when the German culture was entering a period of intellectual and artistic ferment called Sturm und Drang. Hegel's generation, strongly affected by the French revolution, would cause commotion in the intellectual circles in Germany and bring about the greatest philosophical upheaval since Descartes. As we will see, Hegel did not only set the foundations for psychoanalysis as a science, but produced the first blueprint of a psychoanalysis-like psychology. By looking at all previous philosophers as engaged in a common task—the manifestation of the Spirit—Hegel was the first philosopher to see philosophy as a single process with each previous philosopher in history being a meaningful step. The Spirit, for Hegel, was at once God and the human Spirit, and the Mind or Psyche.

[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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