TOTT- SPSS 3Gary Britton, Lecturer in Psychology at Regent’s College (brittong@regents.ac.uk) gave an excellent presentation on SPSS this week as part of my Tricks of the Trade series on technology enhanced learning.

SPSS is the acronym of Statistical Package for the Social Science. SPSS is one of the most popular statistical packages in HE and can perform highly complex data manipulation and analysis with simple instructions. Or as their website proclaims, “SPSS is a comprehensive system for analyzing data. SPSS can take data from almost any type of file and use them to generate tabulated reports, charts, and plots of distributions and trends, descriptive statistics, and complex statistical analysis.”

In his demonstration Gary showed how easy it is to import data into SPSS. He did this first manually (with some simple data on Males, Females and Times) and then he also showed us some prepared data (from his PhD). Once the data is imported we can then use SPSS to do the analysis and evaluation.

So next Gary quickly demonstrated some of the analytical tools available in SPPS. So using the data he showed us how to use the SPSS to give us averages (Mean, standard deviation etc) and then more complex tools such as correlation, t test and regression analysis. He did this with great clarity and illustrated his points with many good examples from his own subject expertise Psychology and a few from Business. I didn’t give him much time to do all of this and he managed to do it all within the allocated time of 30mins.

We had several comments and questions from the audience; some wanted to know if it had a help facility within SPSS not just on the technical features of SPSS but on some help with the statistical techniques being used. Gary replied by saying that it did but would recommend this book to users new to SPSS as a really useful guide:

Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (Introducing Statistical Methods series) by Andy Field (2 Mar 2009)