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SPSS: Resources for learning about the software package SPSS Statistics

SPSS (also known as IBM SPSS Statistics) is a software package used for statistical analysis. It can execute descriptive and inferential statistics quickly and easily.

Use the resources listed here to learn about SPSS functionality and answer questions you may have when using SPSS to do your assignments or research.  

SPSS is installed on computers in SFU labs.

Tutorials and guides for beginners

Lynda.com Online Training Library
Excellent source of tutorials on SPSS. For example, the tutorial entitled "SPSS Statistics Essential Training" will equip you with more than enough knowledge to get started with SPSS. Another tutorial entitled "SPSS for Academic Research", provides an introduction to some fundamental concepts about research methods, such as quantitative vs. qualitative research, sampling, hypothesis and so on. Understand these concepts to effectively use SPSS to do research. 

SPSS Beginners Tutorials by Ruben Geert van den Berg
Explains basic concepts of SPSS, such as data editor window, syntax, output viewer window, variable types and formats-the first things you need to know to familiarize yourself with SPSS.

Statistics How-to by StatisticsHowto.com
Tutorials on some easy-to-learn and frequently-used commands, such as how to enter data and define variables, how to make a pie chart, how to perform a Chi-square test, and etc. 

What is the difference between categorical, ordinal and interval variables? by UCLA's IDRE (Institute for Digital Research & Education)
Understanding the difference between the levels of data measurement in spss-nominal, ordinal and scale (interval) is key to understanding SPSS. This guide gives you a clear introduction to these concepts and explains the statistical rationale behind the difference. 

Guides for intermediate/advanced users

How to use SPSS Snytax by Kent State University
Once you are familiar with some basic menu commands, you may want to explore syntax, a feature of SPSS that helps make what you performed in SPSS reproducible and communicable. This guide explains what is syntax, how you can use it, and why you should use it.  See also their full list of SPSS Tutorials

SPSS and Python Integration by IBM
Do you know SPSS has a pre-installed Python Plug-in?  It can control the flow of command syntax jobs, read and write data, and create custom procedures that generate their own pivot table output.

SPSS v. 22 Command Syntax Reference by IBM
IBM's official guide to command syntax. 

Programming and Data Management for IBM SPSS Statistics 23 by IBM
This comprehensive guide not only helps you learn about SPSS syntax, but will show you how to extend the power of SPPS with Python and R. 

Answers to specific questions about SPSS

Are there scenario-based examples to learn statistical analysis?

Practicing statistical analysis by using real research data is one of the best ways to learn. 

Data Analysis Examples with IDRE  by UCLA's IDRE (Institute for Digital Research & Education)
The table provide hypothetical data in order to illustrate different statistical analysis techniques using different software packages.

Sage Research Method Datasets
Do you just need some practice on techniques you have been shown in class? The datasets in this database are taken from real research projects but edited and cleaned for learning purposes. 

Which statistical test is right for me?

Selecting an appropriate statistical test to align with your research question and data is tricky! These tools might be able to help:

What Statistical Analysis Should I Use? by UCLA's IDRE (Institute for Digital Research & Education)
A clear list compiling many of the statistical analysis tests, categorized by type of the independent variable(s) and dependent variable(s).

Which Stats Test by Sage Research Methods
A step-by-step tool to help you narrow down your options for suitable tests. 

How do I interpret my outputs?

Those values and numbers in the outputs are so confusing! This guide might help you navigate the maze. 

A Student's Guide to Interpreting SPSS Output for Basic Analysis by ICPSR
A clear, visualized guide that shows you how to interpret your SPSS output.

How do I solve this?

If you are stuck somewhere along the way when learning SPSS or leveraging SPSS for your research, try these resources:

Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO)
Includes encyclopedia entries, dictionaries, books, articles, videos pertinent to research methodologies. You can use it to answer statistical or SPSS questions. For example, try searching "multiple line graph" and see what you get. 

SPSSX Discussion Forum
If you have a complex question to which you can't find an answer, you may try this forum where a great pool of SPSS experts may answer questions. 

Books at the SFU Library

The Library Catalogue lists a wide range of books on SPSS, such as SPSS in social research methods, using SPSS in learning statistics, SPSS's application in various disciplines, and so on. Check them out!

 

Statistical support

SFU Burnaby Statistical Consulting Service
A  fee-based statistical consulting service for SFU researchers, mainly grant holders.