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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.

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Eagle, R. (2013). Professor David Tuckett on the Psychology of Financial Markets. Univ. Colg. of London Videostream, 1(1):1.

Professor David Tuckett (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) is examining the role emotions and stories play in traders’ financial decisions.

Tutter, A. (2015). Under the mirror of the sleeping water: Poussin's Narcissus. Int. J. Psycho-Anal. Video Collection, 1(1):4.

Examined in conjunction with a close reading of Ovid's Metamorphoses, Nicolas Poussin's four paintings on the preoccupying theme of Narcissus and Echo reflect a developing aesthetic interpretation of its textual source. Poussin's reflective vision supports a radical reappraisal of the enigmatic myth at the heart of psychoanalytic theory and practice, in which Narcissus is construed as a far more object-related figure that seeks the formative, affirmative mirroring of the other. This in turn encourages a more versatile conceptualization of narcissistic disturbance, in which an etiologically heterogenous constellation of issues stems from a variety of disturbances in the myriad dynamic and developmental aspects of mirroring and attunement: the narcissisms.

Kirshner, L. (2015). The translational metaphor in psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal. Video Collection, 1(1):2.

The translational metaphor in psychoanalysis refers to the traditional method of interpreting or restating the meaning of verbal and behavioral acts of a patient in other, presumably more accurate terms that specify the forces and conflicts underlying symptoms. The analyst translates the clinical phenomenology to explain its true meaning and origin. This model of analytic process has been challenged from different vantage points by authors presenting alternative conceptions of therapeutic action. Although the temptation to find and make interpretations of clinical material is difficult to resist, behaving in this way places the analyst in the position of a teacher or diagnostician, seeking a specific etiology, which has not proven fruitful. Despite its historical appeal, I argue that the translational model is a misleading and anachronistic version of what actually occurs in psychoanalysis. I emphasize instead the capacity of analysis to promote the emergence of new forms of representation, or figuration, from the unconscious, using the work of Lacan, Laplanche, and Modell to exemplify this reformulation, and provide clinical illustrations of how it looks in practice.

Grier, F. (2015). La traviata and Oedipus. Int. J. Psycho-Anal. Video Collection, 1(1):1.

This paper explores the oedipal themes of Verdi's La Traviata, and proposes that it is his masterly treatment of their complexity which accounts for the psychological power of the opera. It is suggested that a particular quality of this opera lies in its ordinariness: no gross psychopathology is displayed, and yet it is mesmerizing. The claims of the eminent musicologist Joseph Kerman are explored that, in opera, music trumps words when there is a conflict between the apparent meanings of the libretto and the feel of the music, with special reference to the famous duet between Violetta (the ‘fallen woman’ – the traviata) – and her lover's father, Giorgio Germont, in which his harsh condemnation of her as conveyed by the libretto text seems to be softened, indeed quite altered, by the music. Other contradictions between the apparently explicit meaning of the text and the implicit sense of the music are also examined. These conflicts are illuminated by John Steiner's theory of two versions of the Oedipus situation, one paranoid–schizoid and the other depressive, which are contrasted with Grunberger's Oedipal views.

Almond, R. (2002). Commentary on "The holding function of theory for the analyst: Conviction derived from unitary or integrated models": Richard Almond, M.D., Presented on Sept 9, 2002. San Fran. Ctr Psa., 1(1):3.

Dr. Almond comments on his paper on how one's theory provides the conviction needed for Psychoanalytic treatment.

Marcus, M.G. (2003). A Psychoanalytic Organizational Consultation: Maurice G. Marcus, M.D., Presented on January 13, 2003. San Fran. Ctr Psa., 1(1):2.

Maurice G. Marcus, M.D., Analyst Member of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, presents an organizational consultation case from a psychoanalytic perspective. By means of this presentation, Dr. Marcus demonstrates the importance and unique value of a psychoanalytic approach to understanding problems of organizational life.

Wallerstein, R.S. (2003). The Nature of Psychoanalysis as a Science: Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D, Presented on Sept 8, 2003. San Fran. Ctr Psa., 1(1):1.

In this film, recorded in September 2003, Robert Wallerstein, M.D. offers his thoughts on psychoanalysis as a science, drawing on Freud's original theory regarding the discipline as a natural science, as opposed to the contemporary notion that it is instead a social, linguistic and/or behavioral science. Dr. Wallerstein states that “Psychoanalysis can be or should be a scientific enterprise,” and he presents his case for psychoanalysis as an empirical discipline which can benefit from experimentation and a verifiable research process. Dr. Wallerstein discusses psychoanalytic researchers past and present, using his work in the 1950s at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas as an example of psychoanalytic work that was evaluated in terms of efficacy and results.

Leader, D. (2016). Lambeth and Southwark Mind Annual Lecture 2016: Darian Leader on Working with Psychosis. PEP Videostream, 1(2):7.

A Clinical Account of Working with Psychosis: Darian Leader gives the inaugural Lambeth and Southwark Mind Annual Lecture in Brixton. He draws on clinical vignettes to think about how to work creatively with psychotic subjects.

New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute Olesker, W. (2014). Taming the Crew: Understanding and Coping with Childhood Aggression in the Context of Home and Family. N.Y. Psychoanal. Soc. Inst., 1(1):1.

Dr. Wendy Olesker will look at aggression in children from a developmental perspective. She will discuss the unfolding manifestations of aggression, typical developmental conflicts, and the role of the caregiver in helping children understand, channel, express, and contain anger as they grow. She will address the differences between normal and pathological aggression. Key ideas include: changing expectations and ways of handling as the child grows, the shaping influence of early experience, facilitating the development of conscience, and the importance of gentle, consistent limit setting.

Civitarese, G. (2015). Bion and the sublime: The origins of an aesthetic paradigm. Int. J. Psycho-Anal. Video Collection, 1(1):3.

In constructing his theory Bion drew on a number of symbolic matrices: psychoanalysis, philosophy, mathematics, literature, aesthetics. The least investigated of these is the last. True, we know that Bion cites many authors of the Romantic period, such as Coleridge, Keats, Blake and Wordsworth, as well as others who were held in high esteem in the Romantic period, such as Milton. However, less is known about the influence exerted on him by the aesthetics of the sublime, which while chronologically preceding Romanticism is in fact one of its components. My working hypothesis is that tracing a number of Bion's concepts back to this secret model can serve several purposes: firstly, it contributes to the study of the sources, and, secondly, it makes these concepts appear much less occasional and idiosyncratic than we might believe, being as they are mostly those less immediately understandable but not less important (O, negative capability, nameless dread, the infinite, the language of achievement, unison etc.). Finally, connecting these notions to a matrix, that is, disclosing the meaning of elements that are not simply juxtaposed but dynamically interrelated, in my view significantly increases not only their theoretical intelligibility but also their usefulness in clinical practice. In conclusion, one could legitimately argue that Bion gradually subsumed all the other paradigms he drew on within the aesthetic paradigm.

Fonagy, P. (2014). Attachment Theory and Psychoanalysis: The Need for a New Integration?. Anna Freud Centre, 1(1):1.

Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive at the Anna Freud Centre (AFC) delivers a presentation from AFC Alumni Conference ‘Twenty Years of Developmental Lines’ at Anna Freud Centre, June 2014

Buie, D. Gifford, S. Mobley, D. (2014). Elvin Semrad: His Principles for Diagnostic Interviews and Therapy. Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, 1(1):1.

Elvin Semrad was one of our great teachers, known primarily for his work in group psychotherapy but also for his special methods of interviewing patients, in his weekly staff-meeting at Boston State Hospital & later at Mass. Mental Health Center. His interviews are the focus of Dr Buie's presentation, rather than his life, although some brief biographical notes by Sanford Gifford will introduce the workshop. There are audio and visual presentations, illustrating Dr. Semrad's methods of work with patients & students. David Mobley, a psychiatricsocial worker & a longterm admirer of Semrad, describes his methods of transcribing these of data from ancient reel-to-reel tapes into accessible form. Also included are comments, discussion & interchange with members of the audience. The longterm purpose of these workshops, organized by the Hanns Sachs Library of the BPSI, is to introduce the works of our former teachers to younger generations of analysts. We make use of the recollections of older colleagues who knew these teachers, & our own archival materials, when they exist.

Nathans, S. San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis (2015). Robert Wallerstein, MD: 65 Years at the Center of Psychoanalysis. San Fran. Ctr Psa., 1(1):4.

Robert Wallerstein speaks on a number of topics previously not aired before, in this, his last interview before he passed away in December 2014. Training and Supervision, The Menninger Clinic in the early 1950’s, thoughts on his own psychoanalysis, and the future of the discipline are all amply covered in the discussion.

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