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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.

Van Lysebeth, M. (1990). Une dimension m├ęconnue de la cure : La relation analytique. Rev. Belg Psychanal., 17:27-42.

(1990). Revue Belge de Psychanalyse, 17:27-42


Une dimension méconnue de la cure : La relation analytique

Michèle Van Lysebeth


Le survol de la littérature (cf. La relation psychanalytique selon les différents courants analytiques) amène à constater que le terme de relation analytique y est généralement considéré dans une acception large, incluant tous les phénomènes relationnels observables dans la cure.

Il m'a paru utile de différencier trois phénomènes relationnels différents:

-    la relation transférentielle,

-    la relation au sens courant du terme, qui résulte d'une dégradation de la relation analytique, lorsque l'analyste entre en collusion avec le patient, ou induit cette collusion par un acting-in contretransférentiel,

-    la relation analytique, qui procède de la transformation des deux phénomènes précédents, par l'attitude et l'interprétation analytique.

En pratique, la différenciation des trois phénomènes s'avère difficile. Toute séquence clinique suppose, en effet, une interaction complexe entre ceux-ci. La difficulté provient, en dernier ressort, de l'ambiguïté de la position de l'analyste, qui amène celui-ci à assumer REELLEMENT une fonction essentielle de l'objet primaire : la capacite de rêverie.

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