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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.

Franklin, M.E. (1933). Sexuality: M. Wulff. 'ber einen interessanten oralen Symptomenkomplex und seine Beziehung zur Sucht' Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 1932, Bd. XVIII, S. 281–302.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 14:265-266.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Sexuality: M. Wulff. 'ber einen interessanten oralen Symptomenkomplex und seine Beziehung zur Sucht' Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 1932, Bd. XVIII, S. 281–302.

(1933). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 14:265-266

Sexuality: M. Wulff. 'ber einen interessanten oralen Symptomenkomplex und seine Beziehung zur Sucht' Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 1932, Bd. XVIII, S. 281–302.

M. E. Franklin

Five cases are described in which the symptom complex occurred, four women and one man, differing clinically in other respects and including hysterias, obsessional neurosis, paranoid character, impotence with stuttering. All manifested periodic 'eating and sleeping mania' (Essucht u. Schlafsucht), in which enormous quantities of sweet things, cakes, unappetising remnants, scraps of paper, etc., were devoured, while persistent, unrefreshing sleep, disturbed by erotic dreams or onanism, accompanied the process of digestion. There were alternating periods of abstemiousness with diminished sleep. The eating and sleeping bouts were accompanied by erotic excitement, and by a state of profound depression, inactivity and neglect of the person, feelings of guilt and disgust at the subjects' own body, fattened by eating. Fasting removed the guilt and led to elation, well-being, energy and self-satisfaction, but without erotic excitement. Guilt and disgust followed the yielding to the cravings of hunger, and the cycle recommenced. Familial and external factors reinforced both oral fixation and its relation to erotic stimulation at the genital level. The onset was usually at puberty with profound reaction to the physical changes.

The exciting cause, as in melancholia, was loss of a loved object or a narcissistic wound, but the author distinguishes the cases from melancholia clinically and psychogenetically. The melancholic's symbolic incorporation of the object is largely sadistic, whereas these cases in which ingestion is actual, manifest a regression from the genital to the oral level in an attempt to retain the object, but the love cathexis in phantasy is largely undisturbed. Eating represented a perverted sexual act. In addition, the cases manifested marked castration complex, and the ingested substances were

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substitutes for the loathed and desired penis. This contributed to the disgust which, with guilt, was mainly a super-ego activity. Partial oral object satisfaction prevented deeper detachment of libido from the external world, and submersion in narcissistic isolation or true melancholic depression. The bouts of sleepiness are regarded as orgastic processes differing markedly from a melancholic's flight from reality. The periods of well-being are contrasted with true manic states, especially in the continued activity of the super-ego.

These manias and cravings (Sucht) differ from the compulsions (Zwang) of obsessional neurosis in affording some direct instead of only a displaced substitute gratification, and in manifesting less anxiety. They are more closely allied to drug addiction, and are considered to be intermediary between drug addiction and melancholia.

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Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Franklin, M.E. (1933). Sexuality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 14:265-266

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