- The SPSS we are using is a Windows program. Find the SPSS
icon and double click on it. It will take you to a second SPSS icon. Double click on that
icon as well. The program should start.
- A grid will appear on the screen. This appears very similar
to an electronic spreadsheet. You will be entering pairs of numbers on this grid. For
example, if you wanted to calculate the height to span correlation, you might enter your
first subject's height in the first column, first row and her span in the second column,
first row. Each subject's data would be entered on a different row.
- Before we enter data, it is useful to label the columns.
Using the mouse, move the cursor to the gray box (cell) on the top of the first column. It
has the word VAR displayed in it.
- Double click on that cell and the DEFINE VARIABLE dialog
box will appear. Since we wish to put the height variable in this first column, type the
word HEIGHT and press ENTER. The column should now be labeled height. (for
versions earlier than 10.0)
- Repeat step 3 and 4 with the second column and label that
- You may now begin entering data. Put your first subject's
height in the first column and the span in the second column. Continue entering data until
you have entered the data for all of your subjects. The data for each subject is entered
on a different row.
- You are now ready to have the computer calculate the
correlation for your two variables. Move the cursor to the STATISTICS label on the MENU
BAR at the top of the screen. Press the mouse button and go to the CORRELATION option.
Since we wish to compare two variables, select the BIVARIATE option next to CORRELATION.
- We need to inform the computer which variables we wish to
use for the correlation calculations. Because we only have two variables, this is
relatively simple. We might have entered many more variables and we could run correlations
on any combination of them. Put the cursor on the HEIGHT label in the box on the left.
Double click on it. It should move the variable name to the right. Do the same for the
SPAN variable. You can also select or deselect the variable by clicking once on it and
then clicking on the > or < button.
- Since we wish to use the Pearson Correlation Coefficient,
make sure there is an X in the small box next to that option. We also want to do a
Two-tailed Test of Significance and that option should have an X.
- Move the mouse to the OPTION button and click on it. A new
window will appear. Since we want the computer to calculate the Mean and Standard
Deviation, click on that option to put an X in the box. When you are finished, click on
the CONTINUE button.
- Click on the OK button. An output window will appear with
your correlation results. You can scroll through the window by using the up and down
arrows on the right side of the screen.
- You are now ready to have the computer draw a scatter plot
(gram) of your two variables. Move the cursor to the GRAPH label on the MENU BAR at the
top of the screen. Press the mouse button and select the SCATTER... option.
- We plan to do a simple plot, so click on the section of
dots labeled SIMPLE.
- Now we need to inform the program which variable we want on
the X and Y axes. Click on the DEFINE button.
- The SIMPLE SCATTERPLOT Window requests which variable you
wish to use for each axis. Move the cursor to the Height label and click once on it. Click
on the > by the Y Axis label to move the HEIGHT variable into the Y Axis box. Do the
same for the SPAN label and the X Axis box.
- To put a lable on the top of our graph, click on the TITLE
button. A TITLE Dialog box will appear. Type a title for the Scatterplot and click on
- Click on the OK button in the SIMPLE SCATTERPLOT Dialog box
and a Scatterplot will appear.
Del Siegle, Ph.D.
Neag School of Education - University of Connecticut