Though most of its advancements over the past decade or two have
been geared toward corporate and marketing interests and needs, SPSS is still
widely used for social science research as well as other disciplines. Its
greatest asset, and one might argue its only strength relative to the other
general purpose packages we support, is a user interface that makes it easy to
perform analyses, some even quite complex (though all major stat packages have
some graphical user interface these days). However, by focusing on the menu
approach SPSS has greater inflexibility compared to other packages, which is
coupled with a lack of modernization of the techniques now available to academic
researchers. That said all of the RSS group have extensive experience with SPSS
and are ready to help you with your research needs should you decide to use
it. In general, SPSS can perhaps be seen as a decent package to start with
given its graphical user interface, but for the sort of sophisticated techniques
that go beyond simple exploration of data, a thorough attempt will often likely
require you to use or at the very least supplement with something else.
Right now we support versions 20 and 21.
With version 14, SPSS began using other means to supplement
its functionality, first starting with the ability to work with Python. With
version 16 it allows for usage of an entire other statistical program,
R. If you can use either of
those, odds are you probably wouldn't be using SPSS to begin with for academic
research, however if interested in learning more, here is a zip file
Due to its popularity, there is a vast amount of information
on the web to get you started with SPSS, so we suggest you do some Googling to
see what's out there regarding your specific SPSS situation as it's likely there
is an answer available already.
SPSS short course
Content Documentation (User manuals in pdf).
Archives of SPSSX-L Discussion - SPSS
Listserv. Discusses programming, statistics and analysis.
Macros, Scripts and more:
note that there is no formal testing of these, not that they haven't been in
some fashion, just that you use at your own risk.
SPSS Log: A blog regarding SPSS