Proficiency with statistical software packages is indispensable today for serious research in the social sciences. SPSS is one of the most widely used and powerful statistical software packages. It covers a broad range of statistical procedures that allow one to summarize data (e.g., compute means and standard deviations), determine whether there are significant differences between groups (e.g., t tests, analysis of variance), examine relationships among variables (e.g., correlation, multiple regression), and graph results (e.g., bar charts, line graphs). These tutorials show screenshots of SPSS 15, the newest version at the time the tutorials were written. If you are using a different version of SPSS, your screens may not look exactly like those presented in the tutorials, but the basic functionality should be the same or very similar. These pages are based on a series of SPSS tutorials originally written by Dr. Gil Einstein and Dr. Ken Abernethy of Furman University.

The lessons presented here give you an introduction to SPSS. They are not designed to teach you statistics, but are intended for individuals who already have some background in statistics and want to learn SPSS, or to be used as a supplement to a statistics course and text. When you are comfortable with SPSS, we encourage you to explore the SPSS menus and options, because the package is very powerful and there are usually multiple ways to accomplish your statistical goals. Unless you are already familiar with SPSS, you should start with Lesson 1, which presents a brief overview of the different types of windows and files available with SPSS. Lesson 2 describes how to enter and label your data, transform data, select cases, and sort cases. Lesson 3 shows you how to generate various descriptive statistics and some simple graphical representations of your data.

Once you understand how to enter and manipulate data and to generate and report statistical results, you can then go on to any of the other lessons. Each of these lessons includes a research problem with a hypothetical set of data, and step-by-step directions for how to perform the specified analyses. An additional example for further practice is also included for many of the lessons. Lessons 4 - 9 describe specific statistical procedures used to compare the means of two or more groups (t-tests and analysis of variance). Lesson 10 covers correlation and Lesson 11 covers linear regression for the bivariate case (one independent variable and one dependent variable). Lesson 12 covers multiple regression (one dependent variable and two or more independent variables). In Lesson 13 you will learn how to conduct and interpret chi-square analyses for categorical data arranged in one-way tables (goodness-of-fit tests) and two-way tables (tests of independence). Lesson 14 introduces analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), a technique combining regression and analysis of variance.

An Important Point to Remember

Please note that these tutorials cover only a few of the most basic statistical procedures available with SPSS. After you have worked through these tutorials, you will have familiarity with SPSS. With this familiarity and an understanding of the statistical test that you wish to use, we are confident that you will be able to figure out other procedures on your own. You may want to bookmark this site, as new material is being added on a regular basis. Your feedback is also very welcome and appreciated. You may provide feedback, make suggestions for additional tutorials, or report errors by clicking on the Provide Feedback link in the navigation menu, or by e-mailing the site's webmaster.

Additional SPSS Resources

In addition to these tutorials, you can find helpful resources on the use of SPSS in the following places:

Please feel free to use the feedback form or e-mail the webmaster with suggestions for additional resources.

Return to the Top of This Page

Proceed to Lesson 1