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SPSS Sum – Cautionary Note

Summary

In SPSS, SUM(v1,v2) is not always equivalent to v1 + v2. This tutorial explains the difference and shows how to make the right choice here.

SPSS Sum, Mean and Plus Different Ways of Taking Sums have Different Outcomes when Missing Values are Present

Explanation

SPSS Syntax Demonstration

data list free/v1 v2 v3.
begin data
1 3 5
1 3 ''
1 '' ''
end data.

compute sum_by_sum = sum(v1,v2,v3).
compute sum_by_plus = v1 + v2 + v3.
compute sum_by_mean = mean(v1 to v3) * 3.
compute sum_by_mean.2 = mean.2(v1 to v3) * 3.
exe.

So Which one Is Best?

Previous tutorial: SPSS Main Statistical Functions

Next tutorial: SPSS Basic Operators

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