How to Use and Apply SPSS
Version 15.0 for Windows
This mini guide/ walkthrough is for SPSS 15.0 for Windows and was written in the Summer of 2010. If there are any changes/updates that apply afterwards, this document will not address them. Additionally, if a previous version (pre 15.0) is being used, this document might not fully apply. This said, the concepts behind what is being explained should still be the same, so long as the functions of the program remain similar.
This guide is intended to give the reader a VERY basic understanding on how to use SPSS. This is also intended to be a crash course type of guide. The length of this document is indicative of how “in depth” this ...view middle of the document...
SPSS works with numbers, so the data needs to be able to be quantified. (If it’s qualitative, you will need to make it quantitative.)
* Make sure you have a goal in your research. Have a question you want to answer, and collect data that you think will help answer that question. For example do you think there is a correlation between stress level and red blood cell count? These are questions that can be answered numerically, making SPSS a good candidate for analyzing this data.
1. Open up SPSS (may be PASW Statistics 18)
2. A screen will pop up that has 5 different options to choose from as follows:
a. Run the Tutorial – This is a very informative walkthrough made by the authors of the program. This tutorial will only show you how to operate the program. Whereas it is the intention of this walkthrough to show you how to apply it.
b. Type in data – This will be the most commonly used option. If this is selected, you can type in the data manually.
c. Skip Run an existing query, and Create a new query using Database Wizard
d. Open an existing data source – Like the name implies, you can open a file that already has data in it from this option.
3. Select Type in data. You will be presented with a screen that looks a lot like an Excel page. At the top of the work-area (the area of white cells) you will see tabs that say var; these columns are the variables of your sample data. Consequently, the numbered rows represent the number of data points for each variable in your data.
4. At the bottom of the page there are two tabs: Data View and Variable View. The variable view brings you to the page where you can enter the variables into the program. For example if you have a range of age groups, this is where you would enter the age groups and their numerical assignments. The data view is the tab where you enter the raw data into the program.
5. Open the file accidents.sav from SPSS/Tutorial/sample_files/accidents.sav. You can see an example of how these tabs work by playing with them. If you look at the variable view tab, you can see that there are 4 variables. If you click on the data view tab, you can see these four variables at the top of the work-area. A confusing aspect to SPSS is that the rows in the variable view are the columns in the data view tabs (see Figure 4 and 5).
Figure 4: (Variable View)
Figure 5: (Data View)
6. Look at the variables in variable view; each one has an abbreviated name (with no spaces) that will show up in the data view tab in place of the var that usually shows up. The Label column is the full name of the variable, which you can enter in as well with spaces. Under the Values column, you can determine what numerical values represent certain data points. For example, in the accidents.sav file, you can see that a 1 represents a female, and a 0 represents a male. In the Scale column, this is where you determine the type of data...