SPSS TUTORIALS FULL COURSE BASICS ANOVA REGRESSION FACTOR

# SPSS – How to Set Missing Values from Syntax?

## Introduction & Practice Data File

When working with SPSS, specifying missing values correctly is often an essential step in analyzing data. This tutorial demonstrates how to set missing values the right way.

## Setting Missing Values in SPSS

• Perhaps unsurprisingly, missing values can be specified with the `MISSING VALUES` command.
• A thing to note, however, is that missing values can be specified for multiple variables at once.
• Second, missing values may be specified as a range. If a range is used, a single discrete missing value can be added to it.
• The syntax example below gives some examples of this.

## SPSS Missing Values Syntax Examples

(The test data used by the syntax below are found here.)

*1. Specifying 4 and 5 as missing values for "married".

missing values married(4,5).

*2. Specify a range (1,000,000 and upwards) as missing values for "income".

missing values income (1000000 thru hi).

*3. Specify 2 as missing value for variables q1 through q3.

missing values q1 to q3 (2).

## Changing Columns in SPSS

• Columns refers to how wide a variable column is displayed on screen. It can be set by the `VARIABLE WIDTH` command.
• This may be confusing since this does not refer to the "width" (length) of a variable as explained under variable width.
• Although setting columns doesn't affect your actual data, it's of minor importance. For the sake of completeness, the syntax example below demonstrates the command.

## SPSS Variable Width Syntax Example

(The test data used by the syntax below are found here.)

*Set columns = 50 for q1 through q3..

variable width q1 to q3 (50).

## Changing Variable Alignment in SPSS

• Variable alignment refers to how data values are aligned within their columns. The options are "left", "centered" or "right".
• As in MS Excel, the default settings are left for string variables and right for numeric variables.
• These can be overridden by the `VARIABLE ALIGNMENT` command as demonstrated below.

## SPSS Variable Align Syntax Example

(The test data used by the syntax below are found here.)

*Set Variable Alignment = center for q1 through q3.

variable alignment q1 to q3 (center).

## Changing Measurement Levels in SPSS

• On a personal note, we feel the Measure property for setting measurement levels is rather useless. This is something that users - not software - should be aware of and take into account when analyzing data.
• Regretfully, some commands (most notably `CTABLES`) are actually affected by the measurement levels as specified by the user.
• In this case, the `VARIABLE LEVEL` command can be used for setting them to nominal, ordinal or scale (for metric variables).

## SPSS Variable Level Syntax Example

(The test data used by the syntax below are found here.)

*Set measurement level to scale for "birthday", ordinal for "married" and nominal for q1 through q3.

variable level birthday(scale) married(ordinal) q1 to q3 (nominal).

## Changing Roles in SPSS

• Just as with Measure, we feel the "Role" property is rather useless and had perhaps better be removed from SPSS.
• For the sake of completeness, it can be modified as demonstrated below.

## SPSS Variable Role Syntax Example

(The test data used by the syntax below are found here.)

*Set role to input for "married", target for "income" and both for "q1" through "q3".

variable role
/input married
/target income
/both q1 to q3.

# Tell us what you think!

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# THIS TUTORIAL HAS 13 COMMENTS:

• ### By Harlan on March 19th, 2021

These statements actually don't work. Is and execute statement also needed, if so, you need to include it.

• ### By Ruben Geert van den Berg on March 19th, 2021

The commands work fine. EXECUTE is not needed because these are not SPSS transformation commands.

thank you