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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.

Sossin, K.M. Birklein, S.B. (2006). Nonverbal Transmission of Stress between Parent and Young Child: Considerations and Psychotherapeutic Implications of a Study of Affective Movement Patterns. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 5(1):46-69.

(2006). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 5(1):46-69

Nonverbal Transmission of Stress between Parent and Young Child: Considerations and Psychotherapeutic Implications of a Study of Affective Movement Patterns

K. Mark Sossin, Ph.D. and Silvia B. Birklein, Ph.D., ADTR, LPC, CMA

Stressful experiences clearly make their way into the complex communicative systems shared by parent and young child. Transmission of stress is often discussed but infrequently explicated as a process. Recent research on the intricacies of explicit and implicit message exchanges between parent and young child invite further consideration of how various types and intensities of stress are manifest in different types of observable manners and behaviors. Employing the Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP) as a descriptive movement-nonverbal behavior classificatory system, developed within a psychoanalytic frame of reference, Birklein and Sossin (in press) recently identified specific tension-flow and shape-flow patterns corresponding to parental stress, as manifest in the parent, the child, and the dyad. These findings are relevant to the identification of modalities of behavior and interaction in which stress (and an awareness of the other's affective state) is transmitted. Data underscore the links between parental stress and specific tension-flow attributes of the parent experiencing the stress but also link the parental stress to mismatches in the child's tension-flow and shape-flow and to discordances in the dyad's patterns as well. This article examines the theoretic implications of these findings regarding the recognition of a channel of “stress-transmission” and for understanding identificatory and internalizing processes in the parent-child dyad. It further considers evaluative and therapeutic implications of the stress-nonverbal links found through this research in developing effective clinical approaches to the stressed child or dyad, highlighting the role of tension-flow, shape-flow, and its nonverbal (and verbal) analogs in the therapeutic exchange.

[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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