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A Brief Guidebook for using SPSS at SUNY Empire


SPSS, a statistical software package first released in 1968, continues to be a premier software for analysis of quantitative data. Originally used with large mainframe computers and data punch cards, SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) revolutionized quantitative data analysis. SPSS gives the researcher the tools for describing variable statistics, analyzing two variables together, predicting numerical outcomes, and predicting identifying groups. Click on the tabs above to find links to specific SPSS instructions.


I have written this eTutor  to provide a brief  introduction to SPSS analysis. It is essential that you have a good understanding of the statistical tests that you are conducting. Remember, SPSS will calculate what you request; it does not determine the appropriateness or limitations of the test. That is your responsibility. I recommend that you keep a good statistics book handy as you conduct your quantitative analyses.


The examples and screen shots used in this guide are based on the 2008 General Social Survey (GSS) data set, which contains information on 50 variables for a sample of 1500 U.S. adults. Undergraduate students studying social science research methods and social science statistics at SUNY Empire use SPSS and the GSS data for some course assignments. Other users of this guide who wish access the GSS data for practice purposes may do so by clicking here: gss08_1500cases.  If you would like to see the codebook (the variable names and their corresponding questions), you can find this by clicking here.

I would like to give special thanks to Dr. Joyce Elliott for her careful edits and thoughtful suggestions.

Please note: If you need to request accommodations with content linked to on this guide or with your SPSS Software for your coursework, on the basis of a disability, please contact Accessibility Resources and Services by emailing them.  Requests for accommodations should be submitted as early as possible to allow for sufficient planning. If you have questions, please visit the Accessibility Resources and Services website.


  SPSS eTutor by Dee Britton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

File: gss08_1500cases