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The computer program SPSS (originally, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) was released in its first version in the 1960s, and is among the most widely used programs for statistical analysis in social science. It is also used by market researchers, health researchers, survey companies, government, education researchers, and others.

The program SPSS is sold by a company also called SPSS. This is a little confusing, since the company SPSS sells a wide range of software for statistical analysis - including, but not limited to, SPSS the program. The company's initials now stand for Statistical Product and Service Solutions. However, the letters in its namesake software's name are now assigned no meaning, and have not been since the release of SPSS-x in the early 1980s.

The SPSS Data Editor is useful for performing statistical tests, such as testing for correlation, multicollinearity , and hypotheses; it can also provide a researcher with frequency counts, sort data, rearrange data, and serve as a useful data-entry device, with labels for brief entries. (For example, one can label an entry as "Richard", while just typing, say, the letter R into one of the cells.)

If later, on a graph, you want to label variables (for example, see which person is an outlier), you can click on the option "label variables", but you must also click on the option "show labels" to have them shown on the graph.

The SPSS Data Editor has two major "views". In the Data View, one can enter data. In the Variable View, one can select the name, type, maximum number of letters per cell ("width"), number of decimal points, label, width of cell ("columns"), alignment within the cell ("align"), and whether or not the variable is nominal, ordinal, or "scale" ("measure"). In the Variable View, one can also categorize entries into labels (this is where the usage of a couple of letters can stand for larger words, in the "Values" column) and mark entries as invalid (in the "Missing" column).

External links

  • SPSS Inc Homepage
  • SPSS User Group Homepage
  • Raynald Levesque's SPSS Tools - support material for SPSS users
  • GNU PSPP - a free software program that uses the SPSS language.

Last updated: 02-21-2005 11:49:54