Running Your First Analysis in SPSS

This post is related to how you can run your first analysis in SPSS. Note: This post uses the “demo.sav” file as a reference for explaining the process.

If you have any add-on options, the Analyze menu contains a list of reporting and statistical analysis categories.

We will start by creating a simple frequency table (table of counts). This example requires the Statistics Base option.

From the menus choose:

Analyze > Descriptive Statistics > Frequencies…

The Frequencies dialog box is displayed. An icon next to each variable provides information about data type and level of measurement.

Click the variable Income category in thousands [inccat].

If the variable label and/or name appears truncated in the list, the complete label/name is displayed when the cursor is positioned over it.

The variable name inccat is displayed in square brackets after the descriptive variable label. Income category in thousands is the variable label.

If there were no variable label, only the variable name would appear in the list box.

You can resize dialog boxes just like windows, by clicking and dragging the outside borders or corners. For example, if you make the dialog box wider, the variable lists will also be wider. In the dialog box, you choose the variables that you want to analyze from the source list on the left and drag and drop them into the Variable(s) list on the right. The OK button, which runs the analysis, is disabled until at least one variable is placed in the Variable(s) list.

In many dialogs, you can obtain additional information by right-clicking any variable name in the list. For example, you could click Income category in thousands [inccat] and choose Variable Information. Click the down arrow on the Value labels drop-down list. All of the defined value labels for the variable are displayed.

Click Gender [gender] in the source variable list and drag the variable into the target Variable(s) list.

Click Income category in thousands [inccat] in the source list and drag it to the target list.

Click OK to run the procedure.

This ends our 1st post in series of posts that will show you how to ‘analyze and interpret’ your research data. Our next post will show you how to view and interpret your results after performing the above steps.

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