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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.

Fast, I. Chethik, M. (1972). Some Aspects of Object Relationships in Borderline Children. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 53:479-485.

(1972). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 53:479-485

Some Aspects of Object Relationships in Borderline Children

Irene Fast and Morton Chethik

It is generally agreed that children with borderline disorders have markedly disturbed object relations. In this paper we propose to explore one aspect of that disturbance. Specifically, we will argue that in borderline children neither self-representations nor object-representations have been integrated into coherent and relatively stable wholes. A myriad of rigidly maintained self–other bonds has been established (e.g. motherchild, MC–audience) in which both the self-representation and the complementary object-representation are part objects. These self–other units are acted out in the external world. Prototypically, a self-fragment is expressed by the child and the complementary object-fragment is projected on to an actual person in the environment. The child, however, interacts with that other largely in terms of his own projection rather than in terms of the other person's actual characteristics.

We will try to show that these characteristics reflect a failure to complete the transition out of narcissism into a firm commitment to external reality. Our hypothesis is that these interpersonal characteristics are typical of the transitional period from pleasure to reality ego, remain available to normal functioning when higher levels of object relations have been achieved, and are important in borderline conditions of adulthood as well as childhood.

In our group of borderline children Gary most vividly illustrates these phenomena.

At the start of hospitalization, Gary, aged eight, appealed to our ward staff.

[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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