An Introduction to SPSS

A graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, where he studied religion and biology, Andrew Whiteman of Michigan has also developed fluency in Microsoft programs as well as IBM software such as SPSS. Michigan’s Andrew Whiteman developed these skills during his undergraduate studies, which prepared him for his intended career in the life sciences.

SPSS, or Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, supports scientific research by allowing users to analyze data on multiple levels. SPSS first asks the user to define the variables that he or she will use in the study. Each of these variables represents a particular characteristic of the subject to be studied. For example, a marketing study may elect to look at a consumer’s age, marital status, or education level when predicting purchase behaviors.

SPSS users enter variable data to create individual cases. They may then run the program to analyze relationships among the variables and identify patterns, anomalies, or likely future outcomes. SPSS then uses the case data that the user has entered to create charts, graphs, and other tools for data reporting. Because the program categorizes data in a number of ways, the user may customize these reports to emphasize particular elements.

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