SPSS tutorials website header logo

SPSS tutorials


How to Draw a Regression Line in SPSS?

This tutorial shows how to draw a regression line in SPSS. We encourage you to follow along by downloading and opening job_performance.sav, part of which are shown below.

SPSS Regression Line - Data View

Our data basically just hold job performance scores and IQ, motivation and social support which -supposedly- contribute to job performance. The meaning of our variables is seen under variable view, part of which is shown below.

SPSS Regression Line - Variable View

For these data, we'd normally inspect all predictors simultaneously by means of multiple regression. This tutorial, however, will be limited to the relation between motivation and job performance. That is, we'll ignore IQ and social support for now.

Regression Line Step 1: Scatterplot

So what does the relation between job performance and motivation look like? The best way to find out is running a scatterplot of these two variables as shown below. After doing so, we'll add a linear regression line to our plot to see whether it reasonably fits our data points.

SPSS Regression Line - Scatterplot Menu SPSS Regression Line - Scatterplot Dialogs A

As shown below, we usually plot the data values of our dependent variable on the y-axis. You could throw in a title at this point but we'll skip that for now.

SPSS Regression Line - - Scatterplot Dialogs B

SPSS Basic Scatterplot Syntax

Completing the steps shown in the previous screenshots results in the syntax below.

*Simple scatterplot with performance on y-axis, motivation on x-axis.


Step 2: Adding the Regression Line

Double-clicking our scatterplot in the output viewer window will open it in a Chart Editor window. Navigating to Elements SPSS Menu Arrow Fit line at total immediately adds the desired regression line to our scatterplot. We don't have to change any of the default settings; we can just Close the dialog.

SPSS Chart Editor add Regression Line to Scatterplot


SPSS Regression Line in Scatterplot

For a prettier chart, you could manually style it somewhat -again, double-click it for opening the Chart Editor. We tried to create an SPSS chart template for styling our scatterplot with a regression line but the newly added elements weren't affected by it so it didn't work.

But are the Results Correct?

The ease with which we added our regression line without actually running REGRESSION made us a bit suspicious about the results. The syntax below -generated from Analyze SPSS Menu Arrow Regression- should yield a regression equation identical to the one in our scatterplot.

*Simple regression for double checking regression line results.



SPSS Regression Line - Confirm Results

We find the r square value in our scatterplot in the Model Summary table (keep in mind that we usually prefer R-square adjusted instead).
, The unstandardized coefficients in our Coefficients table also correspond to our scatterplot. We can be confident about the regression line we added to it.

Final Note

Now what if I need 10 regression lines? Or 100? I surely don't want to process 100 scatterplots manually. Unfortunately, I didn't find any way for adding them by syntax. If anyone has a suggestion on that, I'd love to hear it!

Thanks for reading!

Previous tutorial: Multiple Linear Regression – What and Why?

Next tutorial: SPSS Shapiro-Wilk Test – Quick Tutorial with Example

Let me know what you think!

*Required field. Your comment will show up after approval from a moderator.

This tutorial has 23 comments