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HOW TO RUN
DESCRIPTIVE STATISTIC TEST
IN SPSS

What is the descriptive statistic test?

Using Descriptive Statistic Test in Research

This easy tutorial will show you how to run the descriptive statistic test in SPSS, and how to interpret the result.

Descriptive statistics are used to describe the basic features of the data in a study. They provide simple summaries about the sample and the measures. Together with simple graphics analysis, they form the basis of virtually every quantitative analysis of data. (Source)

The most used procedure in descriptive statistics is to calculate measures of central tendency and measures of variability.

Central Tendency Measures

Central tendency measures are the most calculated measures in descriptive statistics. These measures describe the “central”, “most common” or “average” result in a set of results, i.e. talk about the value around which the sample results are grouped.

The most used central tendency measures are: mean, mode, and median.

  • Mean

The mean is the most calculated measure of central tendency, and many statistical techniques use the mean in inference statistics. It represents the average score in some distribution of results. It is the quotient of the sum of all scores and their number moreover it is calculated for the interval or ratio level of measurement.

  • Mode

The mode is the most observed score in a distribution. It is the only measure of central tendency that can be applied to nominal data, and can also be used to ordinal, interval, and ratio data.

  • Median

The median of a distribution with a discrete random variable depends on whether the number of terms in the distribution is even or odd. If the number of terms is odd, then the median is the value of the term in the middle. This is the value such that the number of terms having values greater than or equal to it is the same as the number of terms having values less than or equal to it. If the number of terms is even, then the median is the average of the two terms in the middle, such that the number of terms having values greater than or equal to it is the same as the number of terms having values less than or equal to it. (Source)

Variability Measures

Variability measures describe the variability or dispersion of results around the center. Results dispersion refers to the range of results and the limits of the range. The most used variability measures are range, quartiles and percentiles, variance, and standard deviation.

  • Percentile

Percentiles divide the distribution of results into 100 parts, i.e. each part contains 1% of the distribution results. Since the median is the central result in the distribution, it is equal to the 50th percentile.

  • Quartiles

The quartiles divide the distribution into four equal parts, each part containing 25% of the distribution results.

  • Range

The range is the difference between the maximum and minimum.

  • Variance and Standard Deviation

Variance and standard deviation are the most used measures of variability. The standard deviation is the square root of the variance.

An Example: How to Run the Descriptive Statistic Test in SPSS

We used a data sample that consists of five variables: wage (annual wages in dollars), industry (industry of employment), occupation (respondent’s occupation), age (age in years), responsibility (job responsibility), and gender.

For nominal and ordinal variables, we will use Frequencies, while for interval or ratio variables we will use Descriptives.

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This guide will explain, step by step, how to run descriptive statistic test in SPSS statistical software by using an example.

How to Run Frequencies Statistics Test in SPSS: Explanation Step by Step

From the SPSS menu, choose Analyze – Descriptive Statistics – Frequencies.

Window with variables will open.

From the left side transfer variables in the section Variables, using an arrow or double click on the variable. We will transfer industry, occupation, gender, and responsibility since these are nominal and ordinal variables.

Descriptive statistics

If you want to show a chart, choose Charts box. We will use a Bar chart. Click Continue, and then OK.

We get the results in the output window. First, there are frequencies results in the tables for each variable.

How to Run Descriptive Statistic Test in SPSS: Explanation Step by Step

From the SPSS menu, choose Analyze – Descriptive Statistics – Descriptives.

Window with variables will open. Choose the variables from the left box and transfer them to the right box. We will use only age and wage variables because those are interval or ratio variables.

Choose Options, and the box with descriptive measures will open. Mean, standard deviation, minimum and maximum are already checked, but we will also check variance and range.

Click Continue and then OK, and the results will appear in the output window.

How to report a Descriptive Statistic test results: Explanation Step by Step

How to Report Descriptive Statistics Table in SPSS Output?

23 respondents are working in the manufacturing industry (47.90%) and 25 respondents working in the constructions industry (52.10%).

How to report a Descriptive Statistic test for

How to Report Frequencies Statistic Table in SPSS Output?

17 employees identified their responsibility on the job as small (35.40%), 18 employees who identified their responsibility on the job as medium (37.50%), and 13 employees who identified their responsibility on the job as high (27.10%),

How to Report Central Tendency Measures Table SPSS Output?

Firstly, The average annual wage was $30369.44 (M=30369.44, SD=13176.48). The minimum yearly salary was $10111.00, and the maximum yearly salary was $58999.00. The range is 48888.00.

Secondly, The average age of respondents was 36.10 years (M=36.10, SD=7.55). The youngest respondent was 24 years old, while the oldest respondent was 49 years old.

How to Report Central Tendency Measures Table SPSS Output

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