SPSS for dummies by Arthur Griffith
Good news! You don’t have to know diddly-squat about statistics to be
able to come up with well-calculated conclusions and display them in
fancy graphs. All you need is the SPSS software and a bunch of numbers. This
book shows you how to type the numbers and produce brilliant statistics. It
really is as simple as that.
About This Book
This is fundamentally a reference book. Parts of the book are written as
stand-alone tutorials to make it easy for you to get into whatever you’re after.
After you’re up and running with SPSS, you can skip around and read just the
sections you need. You really don’t want to read straight through the entire
book. That way leads to boredom. I know — I went straight through everything to write the book, and believe me, you don’t want to do that.
The book was designed to be used as follows:
1. Read the opening chapter so you’ll understand what SPSS is. I tried to
leave out the boring parts.
2. If SPSS is not already installed, you may need to read about installing it.
3. Read the stuff in Chapter 4 about defining variables and entering data. It
all makes sense after you get the hang of it, but the process seems to be
kind of screwy until you see how it works.
4. Skip around to find the things you want to do.
I would mention that you could skip the introduction, but it’s too late for that.
Besides, you’ll find some information here that could be useful.
This book is not about statistics. You will not find one explanation of statistical theory or how calculations are performed. This book is about what you
can do to command SPSS to calculate statistics for you. The inside truth is
that you can be as dumb as a post about statistical calculation techniques
and still use SPSS to produce some nifty stats. You have my permission to
stop thinking right now.
However, if you decide to study the techniques of statistical calculation,
you’ll be able to understand what SPSS does to produce numbers. Your main
advantage in understanding the process to that degree of detail is that you’ll
be able to choose a calculation method that more closely models the reality
you are trying to analyze — if you are interested in reality
Who This Book Is For
In general terms, this book is for anyone new to SPSS. No prior knowledge of
statistics or mathematics is needed or even expected. In specific terms, this
book was written with two groups in mind: students who are not majoring in
mathematics but are instructed to use SPSS and office workers who are
instructed to use SPSS.
For most people generating statistics, the complexity of using the software
becomes an obstacle. My purpose in writing this book is to show you how to
move that obstacle out of the way with minimum effort.