1.0 SPSS commands used in this unit
descriptives  procedure for obtaining means, standard deviations, etc. 
compute  creates new numeric variables 
filter  excludes certain cases from the analysis 
use all  uses all cases in the data set 
means  calculates means for different groups 
examine  procedure for obtaining descriptive statistics 
graph  general procedure for creating graphs 
frequencies  calculates frequencies 
crosstabs  calculates crosstabulations 
correlations  calculates correlations 
2.0 Demonstration and explanation
In this unit we will explore our data set. By "explore", we mean conduct some descriptive statistics on variables that will be important to the analysis that we plan to run. This exploration is very important, because it allows us to become familiar with our data. Also, this there are any problems with the data, such as outofrange values, etc., we can discover them.
Let’s begin by opening the data file.

File Open select the C: drive, the SPSS folder, and hs0.sav
We will begin by getting the descriptive statistics for some of the variables.

Analyze Descriptive Statistics Descriptives... select gender read write math science
Now we will do the same thing, but we will only look at that the records for students who earned reading scores of 60 or above.

Data Select Cases... select "if condition is satisfied" if read >= 60

Analyze Descriptive Statistics Descriptives... select gender read write math science
For the next example, we will select a different set of cases to be analyzed. We will begin by using all of the cases, and then providing the selection criteria.

Data Select Cases... select "all cases"

Data Select Cases... select "if condition is satisfied" if prgtype = "academic"

Analyze Descriptive Statistics Descriptives... select gender read write math science
Instead of selecting cases based on the value of a variable, we will now look at cases that fall into a range. As before, we will start by resetting the selection criteria to include all cases. Next, we will specify the range of cases that we want included in the analysis.

Data Select Cases... select "all cases"

Data Select Cases... select "based on time or case range" range 1 to 40

Analyze Descriptive Statistics Descriptives... select gender read write math science
Now we are going to move on to some different types of analyses. We will begin by using all of the cases in the data set. Then we will compare the means of the variables read, write, math and science broken down by prgtype.

Data Select Cases... select "all cases"

Analyze Compare Means Means... select read write math science as the dependent variable select prgtype as the independent variable
We can do some basic graphics, such as stem and leaf plots, boxplots and histograms.

Analyze Descriptive Statistics Explore... select write as the dependent variable click "plots..." button select "stem and leaf"

Graphs Legacy Dialogs Boxplot... select "simple" and "summaries for groups of cases" click on "define" select write as the variable and gender as the category axis

Graphs Legacy Dialogs Histogram... select write and check "Display normal curve" box

Analyze Descriptive Statistics Frequencies... select ses click on "Charts" select "histograms"

Analyze Descriptive Statistics Frequencies... select write click on "Charts" select "histograms"
Now we will look at some crosstabulations and correlations.

Analyze Descriptive Statistics Crosstabs... select prgtype for the rows and ses for the columns OK

Analyze Correlate Bivariate... select read write math science

Analyze Correlate Bivariate... select read write math science click on "Options..." click to "Exclude cases listwise"
Let’s do some more graphics. The graphical representation of a correlation is a scatterplot, so let’s try a couple of those.

Graphs Legacy Dialogs Scatter/Dot... Simple Scatter click on "Define" select write for the yaxis and read for the xaxis

Graphs Legacy Dialogs Scatter/Dot... Matrix Scatter Define select read math science write as matrix variables
3.0 Syntax version
* opening the data file. get file "c:spss_datahs0.sav".
* descriptives for some of the variables. descriptives variables=gender read write math science. * create a filter for reading scores 60 and above and. * recomputing the descriptive statistics. compute f_read60=(read >= 60). filter by f_read60. execute. descriptives variables=gender read write math science. * after removing the previous filter (with the "use all" command), create . * a new filter and recompute the descriptive statistics. use all. compute f_acad=(prgtype="academic"). filter by f_acad. execute. descriptives variables=gender read write math science. * after removing the previous filter, select the first 40 cases. filter off. use 1 thru 40. execute. descriptives variables=gender read write math science. * compare means using all cases. use all. means tables = read write math science by prgtype. * stem and leaf plot. examine variables = write /plot stemleaf. * boxplot. examine variables = write by gender /plot = boxplot /statistics = none. * histogram. graph /histogram(normal) = write. * histogram. frequencies variables = ses /histogram. frequencies variables = write /histogram. * crosstabs. crosstabs /tables = prgtype by ses. * correlations. correlations /variables=read write math science. * changing from casewise to listwise deletion of missing data. correlations /variables=read write math science /missing=listwise. * scatterplot. graph /scatterplot = read with write. * SPSS does not provide code for including sun flowers on the graph. * scatterplot matrix. graph /scatterplot(matrix) = read write math science.
4.0 For more information
 SPSS Frequently Asked Questions
How can I do a scatterplot with regression line in SPSS?
How can I graph two (or more) groups using different symbols?
How can I display overlapping data points on a scatterplot?
How do I interpret the results from crosstabs?