Path: > Syllabus > Outline > Topics and Readings > Computers in Research > Second SPSS Run

Lecture 7:

A Third SPSS Run

The first SPSS exercise was to read your ten cases into the computer without having the computer do any computing.

Your second SPSS exercise required you to enter two new variables for your ten cases: The states' electoral votes as of the 2000 Census and the percent vote won by G. W. Bush in the 2000 election.

On your third exercise, you will use the data management capabilities of SPSS to create a new variable, VOTEGAIN--the number of electoral votes that the state gained or lost between the1990 and 2000 censuses. Then you'll learn how to open a "syntax" file and enter a simple but useful command to "list" the contents of selected variables.

Call up your mystates file, updated with the 2000 census electoral vote data.

Go to the Transform menu and click on Compute


You'll be asked to name a "target variable" in which to store the results of your computation. Enter votegain.

Then click on 2000 electoral votes and click the arrow to move it to the "numerical expresssion" box.

Click on the minus sign. It will appear in the "numerical expression" box.

Then click on 1990 electoral votes and click the arrow to move it to the "numerical expression" box.

The result should look like this:


Then click on OK and the new variable will be computed and created.

A useful "syntax" command in SPSS is LIST, which produces a formatted listing of selected variables. It follows this syntax:

LIST VARIABLES= [enter the names of the variables that you wish to have listed]

Use the LIST command to produce a list of your ten states and the gains in electoral votes following the 2000 census.

You must first open a window to receive the syntax commands. Do the following:

Click on the File menu, choose New, then click on syntax. This will open a window to receive your syntax commands.

Type in this command (upper or lower case; it doesn't matter):

LIST VARIABLES = STATE VOTEGAIN. [be sure to terminate the command with a period]

Then run (i.e, execute) the command by typing control-r simultaneously on a PC or command-r simultaneously on a Mac.

A new window--called the SPSS Viewer--will open to display your output. Print out the contents. and staple the pages together if necessary. Put your name on the output and submit it in class on Thursday.