SPSS Starter Kit

This page is intended for people who:

Are just starting
  • to learn SPSS
  • to utilize basic statistical procedures
Have a question or two about
  • how to do a simple task in SPSS
  • how to interpret the output from commonly used procedures
Want a quick refresher
  • on how to do basic tasks in SPSS
  • on frequently used statistical procedures and the interpretation of their output.

These materials have been collected from various places on our website and have been ordered so that you can, in step-by-step fashion, develop the skills needed to conduct common analyses in SPSS.  Although SPSS has a very nice point-and-click interface, we suggest that you learn to use SPSS syntax.  Almost all procedures and operations in SPSS can be done either via point-and-click or syntax.  While using the point-and-click interface may seem easier at first, you will quickly find that it makes documenting what you are doing very difficult.  Please see our seminar on SPSS syntax for some tips on ways  to ease yourself into using SPSS syntax.

Getting familiar with SPSS

  • Class notes with movies:  There is no point in waiting to take an introductory class on how to use SPSS.  Instead, we have movies of our introductory class that you can watch online.  The movies follow the class notes.
  • Discovering Statistics Using SPSS for Windows by Andy Field is an excellent resource for getting started using SPSS.  UCLA researchers (not students) can borrow this book from us for a week, see stat books for loan for details.
  • Learning modules:  We have developed a set of web pages called learning modules which show you how to accomplish basic data management tasks in SPSS, including how to get data into SPSS, how to recode variable and how to subset data.  The SPSS code and the output produced are shown, as well as tips on things to look out for.

Getting familiar with the statistical procedures

  • What statistical analysis should I use?:  This page contains a table describing the variables used in your analysis and suggests the kinds of statistical analyses that can be done based on the kinds of variables that you have.
  • Regression with SPSS:  We have written a webbook describing how to do regression analysis in SPSS.
  • Textbook examples:  We have examples from popular textbooks and worked them out using SPSS.  So if you are reading and see an example of the kind of analysis that you want to do, you can use the code we have for that example to use as a template.
  • Stat books for loan:  We have hundreds of books covering a wide variety of topics in statistics that you can borrow for two weeks.  Great books to borrow (or buy!) include Discovering Statistics Using SPSS for Windows by Andy Field, SPSS 11.0 Guide to Data Analysis by Marija J. Norusis and Regression with Graphics by Lawrence Hamilton.  Also, we have a listing of online books.

Getting familiar with the output

  • Annotated output:  We have taken the output from common statistical procedures and annotated each piece of it, telling you what each item means and how to interpret it.

Going further

  • Frequently Asked Questions:  We have a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that cover a wide range of topics.
  • Seminars:  These are notes (some with movies) of 90-minute seminars that we have done on specific topics.
  • Links by topic:  This page is a collection of materials from our web site organized by topic, such as data management, analysis of variance and regression.
  • Installing, Customizing, Updating:  These are pages that tell you about installing, customizing and updating SPSS.  Keeping your version of SPSS up to date is important, as SPSS often issues patches to correct minor bugs in the program.

If you are a UCLA researcher and, after working through these materials, have questions you are welcome to visit us in walk-in consulting .  We strongly recommend that you bring with you your data and your SPSS program, so that we can look at them together to find a solution.

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