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Using SPSS Syntax

Using SPSS Syntax
A Beginner's Guide

First Edition

November 2009 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

SPSS syntax is the command language used by SPSS to carry out all of its commands and functions. Jacqueline Collier's book is primarily aimed at people who have never used the syntax option in SPSS, or have just started to use it.

This is an introductory text designed to show readers how to try using syntax themselves and to then support them through its use. It is ideal for those who are experienced in using SPSS through the usual button menu-driven graphical interface (GIF), but who are novices regarding syntax.

This book supports the use of SPSS syntax in addition to the usual button and menu-driven graphical interface (GIF) using the two methods together, in a complementary way. The book is written in such a way as to enable you to pick and choose how much you rely on one method over the other, encouraging you to use them side-by-side, with a gradual increase in use of syntax as the knowledge, skills and confidence develop.

The text outlines:

  • how to become familiar with the syntax commands through the use of the log
  • how to create and manage the SPSS journal and syntax files
  • how to use them throughout the data entry, management and analysis process.

Collier covers all aspects of data management from data entry through to data analysis and even includes managing the errors and the error messages created by SPSS. Syntax commands are presented with explanations of what each of the lines contributes and the value of syntax is clearly demonstrated through examples and explanation of their use.

This book is of great benefit for all those carrying out quantitative research in the health and social sciences, who can benefit from SPSS syntax's capacity to save time, reduce errors, allow a data audit trail and, perhaps best of all, which will not actually require any initial knowledge of programming.

Syntax for Data Entry
Increasing the Usability of the Datafile
Amending the Datafile
Syntax Involving String Variables
Syntax Involving Date and Time Variables
Syntax for Manipulating Numeric Variables
Syntax for Data Exploration
Syntax to Enable the Use of Only Sub-Sections of the Data
Syntax for Graphs
Syntax for Univariate Analysis
Syntax for Linear and Logistic Regression Analysis
Understanding Error Messages and Warnings

'This is a welcome addition to the available textbooks. I believe Jacqueline's text will prove to be very useful to the many researchers, students, and other professional SPSS syntax users' Assess

does not do what Field does

Dr Christopher Sink
Educational Admin Dept, Seattle Pacific University
July 10, 2014

The text is a good introduction, but focuses heavily on some aspects of syntax that students in my class will not need. Right now, it is a good text for a small group of graduate students or an advanced group of undergrads, but won't work for my larger 50 student course. I do like the book and have had my RAs purchase it.

Dr David Wilson
Political Sci Int'L Rel Dept, University of Delaware
September 27, 2011

Still prefer Salkind's statistics book for overall simplicity and integration with SPSS. Good supplement for Repeated Measures ANOVA, which requires working in Syntax.

Dr Valerie Herzog
Health Promo Human Perf Dept, Weber State University
September 12, 2011

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