I.e., does a piece of content with an average rating of 5 starts as opposed to one with 1 star appear higher on search results? What other algorithmic impacts do user ratings have as it relates to that piece of content?
Rating does not affect search results. Here is some information on how search works: How does search work? Two points worth mentioning that can affect your search is 1)the relevancy of the search words used and 2) your view history will impact search result ranking.