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Assignment 8: Introduction to SPSS

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Course Content   ::   Lesson 10   ::   Assignment 8

Short Description:

Statistical software offers many possibilities for representing quantitative information in various visual forms. Recent versions of SPSS have made giant leaps in their visualization capabilities, helping the researcher spot trends and interpret data when formerly it was mainly used for statistical analyses. SPSS can do traditional bar graphs, column graphs, histograms, and pie graphs like other packages we’ve worked with. Today, we concentrate on learning scatterplots to look at the relationships of pairs of variables.


You will need this data sheet (.sav) to complete this assignment.


    • For this assignment you will use the file gss.sav available via the class website. This file is already in SPSS format.
    • Make at least four interesting visualizations from data indicated in the “Content” portion of the assignment. You will likely be further detailing aspects of it in Illustrator. Turn it in as a Word document with accompanying appropriate text. Remember to format you assignment in a well-designed, complete manner.
Technology Features – Your results will include:
    • One Word document that contains at least 4 bitmap visualizations originally created in SPSS. Answer all the questions posed to you in the “Content” portion of the assignment as accompanying sentences in your Word document. Identify any other trends indicated in the plots.
    • Format your assignment in a well-designed document that includes paragraph explanations of each graph.
    • For the married couples in the General Social Survey, make a scatterplot of years of husband’s education (husbeduc) against years of wife’s education (wifeduc). Write a sentence describing the relationship. Go into the Chart Editor and edit the plot so that negative years of education do not appear on the axes. Change the scatterplot to one with bins to show density of information.
    • Make a scatterplot matrix of the respondent’s education (educ), the respondent’s mother’s education (maeduc), and the respondent’s father’s education (paeduc). What can you tell from the plot about the relationships of the variables? Do the variables appear to be positively or negatively related?
    • Make an overlay plot of the following two plots: hours worked (variable hrs1) and respondent’s income (variable rincmdol), and hours of television watched per day (variable tvhours) and respondent’s income. Describe the problems you see with this plot.
    • Make a 3D plot of educ, maeduc, and paeduc. From this plot, identify a case that is the most extreme outlier. Click on one of the points so that the ID is displayed. Then rotate the plot. Pay attention to how the identified point moves as you spin the plot in different directions. Identify the ages of the respondents for this outlier and indicate them in an accompanying sentence. Indicate them inside the graph as well.
Objectives of this assignment
    • This is not only an introduction to a software tool. It is a way to take advantage of a 3D visualization package in order to identify trends and think about your final project. Use your Illustrator skills to finish a visual made from another visualization package. Practice creating a complete message through text-based description. Practice formatting a document like you will be turning in for your final project. This includes an appropriate cover page.
    • Export each of the graphs as an EPS and make the appropriate modifications to conform to good design principles for graphs that we’ve discussed in class. Using the tools associated with the Graph Editor may not let you format them they way you would like.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). Assignment 8: Introduction to SPSS. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
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