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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.

Marcovitz, E. (1963). The Concept of the Id. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 11:151-160.

(1963). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 11:151-160

The Concept of the Id

Eli Marcovitz, M.D.

Jacob A. Arlow opened the meeting with a short introductory statement of the purpose of the panel.

Sarah S. Tower emphasized the need for a re-examination of the concept of the id, in the light of advance in psychoanalytic theory. Tower believes that id and unconscious can no longer be considered to be synonymous or that everything which becomes conscious is ipso facto outside of the id. She discussed sleep and orgasm, and questioned how one might find it most useful to conceptualize the id and ego aspects of such phenomena, and whether affect itself might not best be considered as the id speaking, to command the attention of the ego. Various affects, such as anxiety, rage, apathy, the state of "no feeling, " of melancholia, even depersonalization, with their disturbing bodily manifestations, were cited as possible examples of id function in a conscious state.

Tower further suggested that as a background for specific affect surges, there is a continuing feeling of being, not identity, of existence, with an evaluative aspect of the state of psychic equilibrium along a span from well-being to ill-being, a low-intensity pleasure-displeasure-pain evaluation, which may also be a conscious aspect of id function. The communicative function of affect was then discussed, both within the psychic apparatus and with external objects. Tower suggested that nonverbal communication through mimetic expressions of affect needed reconsideration as to its id and ego components. She hoped that current investigations of dreams and dream deprivation, sleep and sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, hypnosis, delirium, and the psychic effects of drugs would eventually contribute to a greater understanding of the phenomena of the id.

Aaron Karush then reviewed the transition in Freud's formulations from the unconscious-conscious topography to the id-ego-superego concept.

[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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