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Very Basic SPSS

Very Basic SPSS

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04/06/2011

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The Very Basics of SPSS (ver.16 and up, Windows)
Statistical Computing Group @ Research Data ServicesSAS, University of Pennsylvania
Last modified: 03/16/2009
 
This online seminar is to help you get started with basic data management and analysis in SPSS.It is for those people who:
 
Are new to statistical data work and want to learn to use SPSS to manage data and perform common analysis.
 
Took some undergraduate (or perhaps some graduate) introductory statistics course inSPSS long ago and want to refresh their memory.SPSS is one of the most user-friendly commercial statistical packages. As such, even beginnersof statistical analysis would find its point-and-click and dialogue boxes interface veryapproachable and easy to use. However, in the long run, you will benefit
a lot 
more by learningSPSS by SPSS Syntax. The pros of the syntax approach are:
 
An efficient way for documentation and reproducibility (this is the reason I wouldstrongly discourage you from keeping relying on the point-and-click approach).
 
Much quicker and efficient once you learn how to write and run syntax commands.
 
Can perform things unavailable/inaccessible from the point-and-click menus.So, this online seminar attempts to prepare you for writing syntax commands yourself in thefuture to perform simple data tasks and run basic procedures.Aside from this online seminar, you have access to a lot of great instructionalSPSS resources online for free. We strongly recommend that you use those resources to the full.
This online seminar assumes that you are using SPSS ver.16 and up. Be aware there aresome significant changes between ver.15 and before and ver.16 on.Contents:
 
1. Getting Started: Let’s Open SPSS and Bring in Data
In this section, we will play with the SPSS windows and get a broad idea of what things look likein the SPSS environment. In so doing, we also learn how to bring data in SPSS. By the end of this section we will have a rough but good idea what role each window plays for your datamanagement and analysis work and how to get SPSS ready for our work.First, let’s create a working directory for this practice in whatever location you prefer. It isalways a good idea to keep one project directory for one project. Let’s call this new workingdirectory “verybasicSPSS.” Then download fromherethe data files we are going to use in thisonline workshop. Save them in the working directory you just created. Now, let’s launch the program.
 
Click on the SPSS icon, OR 
 
Choose from Window’s Start menu SPSS 1x.x (whatever version you have; thisworkshop is using Version 16) for Windows:
Start Programs > SPSS for Windows > SPSS 1x.x for Windows
 Some of you may have a dialogue box (called “SPSS for Windows 1x.x [your version]”) poppingup asking “What would you like to do?”. In that case, let’s just click on “Cancel” for now and gosee what windows we have in the SPSS interface.You should be seeing an untitledSPSS Data Editor window now (like below).TheData Editor window shows you the working (= currently open) dataset in a spreadsheetformat. Of course, it is now new and empty. You see there are two sheets in this window, theData Viewand theVariable View. Currently, theData Viewis active (in yellow). You see a message from SPSS at the bottom of the window. Currently, it is “SPSS Processor is ready” for your work.2
 
Before getting started with our work, let’s change the output settings. From the menu bat at thetop (of whichever window),
EditOptions…
This will bring you the “Options” dialogue box. Here, you can control what to display in your output. Click the “Viewer” tab. Here is one setting I
strongly
recommend that you choose:“Display commands in log.” You will see why in a moment. For now, just check the box andclick OK. Now, let’s first bring in a data. We’ll use these files for this practice.
 
xls_gss93.xls
 
csv_gss93subset.csv
 
fix_gss93subset.dat
 
GSS93 subset.sav
* The second and third files are subsets of the last one “GSS93 subset” data (7 variables, 97 observations) indifferent formats for our practice purpose.
Reading Data from Excel Files
We will start with importing the excel file “xls_gss93subset.xls” into SPSS. First, open the excelfile and understand how it is formatted. The first row has variable names, and the data part isfrom the second row and below. Close the excel file and let’s start reading this file into SPSS.3

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