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SPSS Glossary

Sampling Distribution - What is It?

When we're writing about SPSS or statistics in general, we often wonder if our readers really understand all the terminology we use such as variance, histogram or z-scores. For those wo don't, we wrote some background tutorials on such terms. These background tutorials are listed below.
Hope you find them helpful!

Glossary

SPSS TEMPORARY Command

In SPSS, TEMPORARY indicates that the commands that follow are temporary. Temporary commands will be undone (reversed) when a command is run that reads the data.
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Assumption of Equal Intervals – Calculations on Ordinal Variables

The assumption of equal intervals is the assumption that all distances between adjacent answer categories are exactly equal in the repondents' perception.
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Sampling Distribution – What is It?

A sampling distribution is the frequency distribution of a sample statistic (mean, standard deviation or other) over repeated samples. A sampling distribution tells us which outcomes we should expect, given our research hypothesis.
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SPSS Transformation Commands

In SPSS, a transformation is a command that is not immediately carried out when you run it.
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SPSS CD Command

It's always a good idea to open and save data files with syntax. Like so, it can be readily seen which syntax was run on which data. One could use the syntax generated by "Paste" for this but there's a much shorter and better option.
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Command Syntax Reference

SPSS ships with a manual called "Command Syntax Reference" (or CSR). Whenever you don't know or understand something, this should usually be the first place to look.
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Concatenate (General Concept)

Concatenating two or more strings is creating a new string consisting of the characters of the first string followed by the characters of the subsequent string(s) in their original order.
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Escape Sequence (General Concept)

An escape sequence is a combination of characters that has a special meaning.
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Python Xlrd (Excel Read) Module

Xlrd is a Module that allows Python to read data from Excel files. This tutorial explains where to get it and how to install it.
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SPSS ALTER TYPE – Simple Tutorial

SPSS ALTER TYPE command is mainly used for converting string variables to numeric variables. However, it has other interesting applications as well. This tutorial quickly walks you through those, pointing out some pitfalls, tips and tricks along the way.
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SPSS ANY Function

The ANY function is used to compare one value to a set of other values.
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SPSS Datasets

An SPSS dataset is data that only exists in your computer's working memory (RAM). Changes you make to it are discarded unless it's saved as a data file.
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SPSS DO IF – Simple Tutorial

SPSS commands between DO IF ... and END IF are applied only to cases (rows of data) that satisfy one or more conditions. In many cases, however, IF is a faster way to accomplish the same results.
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SPSS FORMATS – Set Display Format for Variables

SPSS FORMATS command is mainly used for setting decimal places for numeric variables. FORMATS also displays SPSS date and time values properly. This tutorial will briefly demonstrate both uses.
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SPSS LAG Function – What and Why?

In SPSS, LAG is a function that returns the value of a previous case. It's mostly used on data with multiple rows of data per respondent. Here it comes in handy for calculating cumulative sums or counts.
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SPSS Macros

An SPSS macro is a function defined by the user in order to automate some task(s).
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SPSS RANGE Function – Quick Tutorial

The SPSS RANGE function is used to evaluate whether or not values are within a given range. Test values equal to the lower or upper boundary are also within the given range.
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SPSS RANK Command

SPSS RANK can be used to create a variable holding the rank numbers of the values of some other variable. RANK is also used for discretizing continuous variables into ntile groups. This tutorial walks you through the main options along with some real world examples.
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SPSS RV Function

In SPSS, RV is short for random variable. It draws random values from a given probability distribution.
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SPSS Scratch Variables

Scratch variables are temporary helper variables that don't show up in your data. They are often used as LOOP index variables.
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SPSS System Variables

SPSS uses a handful of hidden variables for keeping track of things. Two such system variables that are very useful are $casenum and $time.
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SPSS Unicode Mode

SPSS Unicode mode is a setting which implies that all text in SPSS is encoded as UTF-8 (Unicode Tranformation Format 8 bit). It is mostly relevant for manipulating string variables holding non English characters.
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Substring (General Concept)

A substring is a subset of characters from a string.
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Unicode

Unicode - what is it and how does it work? This gentle tutorial will walk you through ASCII, Unicode, UTF-8, and related topics.
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