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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.

Fuertes, J.N. Gelso, C.J. Owen, J.J. Cheng, D. (2015). Using the Inventory of Countertransference Behavior as an observer-rated measure. Psychoanal. Psychother., 29(1):38-56.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 29(1):38-56

Using the Inventory of Countertransference Behavior as an observer-rated measure

Jairo N. Fuertes, Charles J. Gelso, Jesse J. Owen and David Cheng

This study examined the use of the Inventory of Countertransference Behavior (ICB) as an observer-rated measure of countertransference (CT). The ICB was originally designed for use by direct psychotherapy supervisors who assess their supervisees, but this limits its use in research and with practitioners who are not in supervision. To increase the use of the ICB as an observer-rated scale, we developed clarifying statements and examples of in-session therapist behaviors for each of its 21 items, creating an Inventory of Countertransference Behavior-Observer (ICB-O). Two separate teams of observers rated therapist CT using the ICB-O while listening to audiotaped recordings and reading transcripts of four psychotherapy dyads' sessions. Our analyses indicate that the ICB-O can be used reliably as an observer-rated measure of CT, and that differences emerged in the development of positive CT over time. We also obtained ratings of client insight and clients' and therapists' ratings of quality of sessions, and present variations in these ratings, including CT, when the treatment was classified as either more or less successful. We end the paper by presenting ways in which the ICB-O can be used in supervision, training, and research.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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