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Building SPSS Graphs to Understand Data

Building SPSS Graphs to Understand Data

April 2012 | 392 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Building SPSS Graphs to Understand Data is a must-have for anyone needing to understand large or small amounts of data. It describes how to build and interpret graphs, showing how "understanding data" means that the graph must clearly and succinctly answer questions about the data. In most chapters, research questions are presented, and the reader builds the appropriate graph needed to answer the questions.

Chapter 1. Introduction: Graphical Presentation of Data
Chapter 2. Simple Bar Graph
Chapter 3. Stacked Bar Graph
Chapter 4. Clustered Bar Graph
Chapter 5. Pie Graph
Chapter 6. Simple Line Graph
Chapter 7. Multiple Line Graph
Chapter 8. Simple Histogram
Chapter 9. Population Pyramid
Chapter 10. 1-D Boxplot
Chapter 11. Simple Boxplot
Chapter 12. Clustered Boxplot
Chapter 13. Simple Scatterplot
Chapter 14. Grouped Scatterplot
Chapter 15. High-Low Graphs
Chapter 16. Paneling on One Dimension
Chapter 17. Paneling on Two Dimensions
Chapter 18. Deceptive Graphing Examples
Chapter 19. Summary
Appendix A. SPSS Basic Information
Appendix B. Answers to Chapter Exercises
Appendix C. Chapters and SPSS Databases Used
Appendix D. Graph Selection - Type and Purpose

“This book provides excellent descriptions and guidance on the use of graphical images for data presentation. These are necessary tools for all students pursuing graduate degrees with a research component attached.”

Clifton C. Addison
Jackson State University

“I am delighted to see a book of this kind. It fills a gap in conventional statistics books, which devote just one chapter to graphical displays. This book helps students make the connection between research questions and graphical approaches in a way that no other statistics book has done.”

Camille L. Lawrence
Columbus State University

“I like the approach that argues graphs are one way to understand data and answer pertinent questions. This is a very useful entrée for the many ‘number-phobic’ students we encounter in social work.”

Rosemary McCaslin
California State University, San Bernardino

“I don’t know of a comparable book. There are many excellent books on SPSS statistical procedures but this is the first one on graphics that I’ve seen which is why I was so excited to review it...The level of detail and the number of examples are key strengths. My impression that overall it is one of a kind is the biggest strength.”


James P. Donnelly
University of Buffalo/State University of New York

"It's easy to read, and provides plenty of examples and practice so students can get the concepts."

David Nalbone
Purdue University

"It presents a comprehensive list of graphs available in SPSS, with details about how to construct and interpret them."

Thomas Short
John Carroll University

"The comprehensive treatment of an important topic, including 'walk-throughs' of how to produce a graph of each type, is well done. The chapter on deception brings in coverage of a useful and important topic as well."

Christopher Lawrence
Virginia Tech University

It is useful to teach students how to use SPSS to create graphs. Supplements the main textbook very well.

Dr Caihui Lin
Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast
September 22, 2016

I will adopt in another course: Research Project for students to do pre-liminary quantitative analysis of data. Especially the table at the back specifying which graph to use for which data is very useful for my students

Dr Agnieszka Kulacka
Economics, Mathmatics and Statistics, Birkbeck, University of London
April 6, 2016

I will adopt this book in Research Project course for students to do pre-liminary quantitative analysis of data. The table at the back specifying which graph to use for which data is very useful for my students.

Dr Agnieszka Kulacka
Economics, Mathmatics and Statistics, Birkbeck, University of London
April 6, 2016
Key features


  • Presents research questions about each specific database in the early part of the chapter, and later shows how the graph answers the research questions
  • Includes a unique tool to help choose the appropriate graph, helping the reader relate the graph to the type of data and questions to be answered
  • Provides easy-to-follow instructions for building 45 graphs—an additional 152 are illustrated
  • Uses SPSS Version 20 or most earlier versions to build the graphs

Sample Materials & Chapters


ch 3

ch 11

ch 1

For instructors

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