SPSS: Quantitative Analysis Tool

SPSS: Quantitative Analysis Tool

What is SPSS?

SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) is a quantitative data analysis software from IBM.  First launched in 1968, SPSS is an established tool for social science research, as well as the broader academic and applied communities, and thus designed to support statistic methods commonly used by the UOPX research community, such as descriptive statistics, mean comparisons, linear models, and more.  It also supports data manipulation and visualization. 

UOPX Student Access:

As of Nov. 14th, 2018, UOPX no longer carries a dedicated SPSS license.  Students wishing to use IBM®SPSS®  software can purchase a discounted, 6-month license from an IBM partner at a student discount rate of $50.00 USD. 

Suggested SPSS Resources:

There are a number of excellent books and resources out there to guide users using SPSS.  Below are a couple suggested tools from the UOPX research community.  If you are a UOPX student, make sure to review the vetted resources in your classroom and with your dissertation chair and URM. 

Is SPSS the only statistical software?

SPSS is just one of a number of statistical software programs.  UOPX classrooms teach using SPSS.  Other common programs are SAS, STATA, MatLab, R, MPlus, and in some cases Excel.  While most quantitative statistical software can be used for a broad range of statistical tests, some have specialties or are better at some tests than others.  For example, SPSS is excellent for multilevel analysis and ANOVAs, whereas MPlus is best for structural equation modeling.  Smaller programs are often designed to address specific parts of research design, such as GPower calculates sample sizes. There are also different learning curves for different programs.  For example, when running analysis, researchers can choose from drop-down menus or write syntax in SPSS whereas R just uses syntax. Here is an overview of statistical programs from the NYU Library.  Cost may also be a factor in selecting a software. You should work with your mentors to identify the best statistical software for your design.  

SPSS Webinar:

The December 3rd, 2015, 10:00 am MST, webinar titled "Organizing and Entering Data into SPSS" is now available to view on-demand.  Click play on the video below to view.  Webinar host Dr. Gregory Privitera, former Research Center Chair for the Center for Behavioral Health Research, covers the following: 

  • Discussing basic displays in the data view and variable tabs in SPSS
  • Demonstrating how to delineate how to enter values into each tab in SPSS
  • Distinguishing between grouping variables that are within-subjects and between-subjects
  • Showing how the type of grouping variable relates to whether data are coded or listed each column in SPSS