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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.

Kavka, J. (1974). Empathy in the Beginning Analyst: The First Case Report. Ann. Psychoanal., 2:293-307.

(1974). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 2:293-307

VII Psychoanalytic Education

Empathy in the Beginning Analyst: The First Case Report

Jerome Kavka, M.D.

The capacity for empathy and its effective use are so vital for analytic competence that empathic disturbances and limitations in the student analyst should be detected as soon as possible, and early in the management of the first analysis, efforts should be made to overcome and correct them. It is the individual supervisor who carries the main responsibility for implementing the student analyst's technical skills; and the extensive literature on psychoanalytic supervision attests to the importance of that learning experience Fleming & Benedek, 1966).

As a further element in their training, candidates are expected to discuss their work periodically in clinical case conferences. Yet, it is noteworthy that little attention has been devoted to the case-conference presentations as learning experiences (Lewin & Ross, 1960). Because the first case report is devoted to the opening hours of the first analysis, this case report may be useful in clarifying candidate psychopathology as it affects crucial functions involved in analysis—particularly empathic capacity. Furthermore, judicious exposure in the conference of a candidate's empathic limitations may serve to help him overcome this serious barrier to successful treatment of patients.

First-Case Ambience

As the fledgling psychoanalyst begins his work, his major model of analysis in his own personal analysis.

[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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