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An Introduction to SPSS

SOC 281W

An Introduction to SPSS

SOC 281W

Course Description

Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in SOC 280, or permission of instructor. Introduces the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), a comprehensive set of statistical tools for many types of data analysis. Emphasizes the basic procedures, commands, and tools of SPSS. Credit may be earned in SOC 281 or CPS 108 but not in both. (15-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Use SPSS on a personal computer to perform simple data analysis using one- and two-variable tables and bivariate correlations.

Objectives:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of what a variable is and distinguish among nominal, ordinal, dichotomous, numeric and string variables.
  • Create and use simple data files including variable and value labels.
  • Use basic SPSS data transformations such as recode and compute.
  • Run frequency distributions producing one-variable tables with bar charts, means, medians and modes.
  • Run cross tabs producing two-variable tables.
  • Run bivariate correlations.

Grasp the basic elements of interpreting one- and two-variable tables and correlations.

Objectives:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the structure and major uses of percent tables.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the differences among such measures of central tendency as mean, median and mode.
  • Discover associations between variables in two-variable tables and correlations.
  • Distinguish between independent and dependent variables.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of the major uses and abuses of statistics produced by SPSS.

Use writing tasks to promote learning.

Objectives:

  • Practice critical writing skills within the subject.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of subject matter.