How to use SPSS/Descriptives

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Descriptive & Graphical Exercise Using SPSS[edit]

  1. Assumed knowledge: Allen and Bennett Chapter 3: Summarising and displaying data (pp. 19-32)
  2. For univariate descriptive statistics and graph(s), determine the level of measurement and then decide on appropriate statistics and graphing.
  3. Download and open the datafile: World95.xls
  4. Conduct the univariate and bivariate descriptive and graphical analyses outlined below.

Univariate[edit]

Determine the level of measurement and obtain appropriate univariate descriptives and graphs to depict the nature of responses to each of the following variables:

  1. LIFEEXPF (Life expectancy for females)
  2. RELIGION (Main religion of country)

Statistically, you may consider using:

  1. frequency / % / mode
  2. median
  3. mean, SD, skewness, kurtosis

Graphically, you may consider using:

  1. bar graph
  2. pie chart
  3. stem and leaf plot
  4. boxplot
  5. histogram
  6. line graph
  7. error bar

Converting tables and graphs to APA style[edit]

Default SPSS tables and graphs generally need considerable editing in order to be presented in APA style.

Figures - edit in chart editor, then copy into word processor
  1. Caption below - note italicisation, capitalisation
  2. Greyscale unless Colour is really needed
  3. Axis titles
  4. Legend - if needed
  5. More info and examples: [1], [2]
Tables - copy to word processor and edit
  1. Caption above - note italicsation, capitalisation
  2. Horizontal lines above and below heading row and below bottom row - no other lines
  3. Remove redundant columns and rows
  4. Use labels rather than variable names
  5. More info and examples: [3], [4], [5]

See also[edit]

  • Advanced descriptive and graphing exercises