Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
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.

Phillips, S.H. (2002). The Overstimulation of Everyday Life: II. Male Homosexuality, Countertransference, and Psychoanalytic Treatment. Ann. Psychoanal., 30:131-145.

(2002). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 30:131-145

IV. The Meaning of Sexualization in Clinical Psychoanalysis

The Overstimulation of Everyday Life: II. Male Homosexuality, Countertransference, and Psychoanalytic Treatment

Sidney H. Phillips, M.D.

In Part I, I asserted that everyday life within Western, heterosexual culture is overstimulating for the homosexual boy. Certain common child-rearing practices and regular school activities—all based on implicit heterosexual norms—surround the homosexually inclined boy in an atmosphere of sexual overstimulation that affects his development, symptom formation, and adult sexual adaptation. I only discovered this when I began to look more carefully at the adolescent longing of some homosexual boys for heterosexual boys so frequently reported in the analyses and psychotherapies of gay men. I explored the common finding in psychoanalytic work with my adult gay male patients that they described one or more experiences during midadolescence of falling in love with and pining away for heterosexual adolescent boys.

I acknowledged in Part I somewhat of a paradox in referring to sexual overstimulation as being “everyday.” The central case presentation in Part I of a gay man who grew up from early childhood into adolescence sharing a family bed with his younger brother is hardly a universal or “everyday” experience. One might even call it the sexual overstimulation of overcrowded family life. Yet on the other hand, the analytic literature is so accustomed to associating sexual overstimulation with the extreme cases of brutal molestation that Shengold (1967) described in his classic paper on rat people that the case in Part I, which did not involve any molestation, seemed quotidian by comparison. There was another way in which the sexual overstimulation of everyday life seemed an apt description of my subject matter.

[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.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.