Data Analysis with SPSS

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Historical background

Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was initially developed in 1965 at Stanford University in California. It was developed out of the need to quickly analyze volumes of data, and it is one of the most widely available and powerful statistical software packages. It covers a broad range of statistical procedures that allow you to summarize data (e.g., compute means and standard deviations), determine whether there are significant differences between groups (e.g., t-tests, analysis of variance), examine relationships among variables (e.g., correlation, multiple regression), and graph results (e.g., bar charts, line graphs). Proficiency with statistical software packages is indispensable today for serious research in the sciences

General overview of SPSS

Data are put in the Data Editor window. Quantitative data are normally organized in terms of the columns and rows of a table. SPSS has two views: the Variable View and the Data View.

  • Different columns represent different variables such as age and sex
  • Different rows represent the data for different cases. In psychology/research a case is usually a person.

Data coding and entry

Coding involves grouping and assigning values to various responses from the survey instruments.Data Entry involves inputting Quantitative data into the Data View and variables into the Variable View.

Statistical Test

To carry out a statistical test, move the cursor to the ‘Analyze’ option on the menu bar near the top of the screen, which gives a drop-down menu listing the various options.