When you need to calculate a number of different statistical tested based on the principle of chi square SPSS professional is the program you need. This software package is ideal for a range of different academic disciplines, but despite this, many people struggle with getting to grips with its full capabilities. Your research would certainly benefit from using a program like this, and it’s just a case of learning how to use it.

## What Is the Chi-Square Test?

People might mean a range of different things when they talk about using a chi square test for statistical analysis. Of the various kinds of tests in this category, they all share a commonality in that they’re suitable for data with a sampling distribution that has a chi squared distribution when the null hypothesis is true. Typically, such a test will be used when an attempt is being made to refute a null hypothesis that states that the data collected are independent in nature.

When you use SPSS chi square calculations becomes rather easy and straightforward as most of the legwork is done for you. The main thing that you still have to participate in fully is data collection. There are essentially two kinds of chi square test: one-dimensional and multidimensional. Consider the various SPSS chi square tests you can run with this powerful program.

- The one-dimensional chi square test is also known as a goodness-of-fit test as it examines whether observations differ significantly from what would have occurred by chance alone. This version tends not to be used all that often, and psychology, in particular, makes more use of the multidimensional kind of this test.
- The multidimensional chi square test can be considered a test of association because it permits us to learn whether two variables are independent of one another or associated. You might also see this test described as a test of the differences between independent groups.

## Learning by Example

The best way to understand statistics is to run through a few examples. Yale University has provided a rather austere-looking but ultimately very useful set of examples which will surely help you to get to grips with how and when to use a range of chisquare tests.

If you need an alternate set of explanations for all the terms used in this section of the field of statistics, the Computer Science department at the University of Northern Iowa has a small page worth looking at. Just remember, if in doubt, ask an expert to help you learn more about manipulating multinomial data.

## Making Sure Data Is Suitable for Testing

All statistical tests work properly only when they are fed the intended kind of data. If you use data that is not the right sort for use with your chosen tests, you’ll end up with results that mean nothing at all. There are four main criteria which your data must satisfy if you are to use a chi square test spss.

- The variables used must be nominal and therefore relate to the frequency of some event. You can recode your data to make it nominal and thus suitable for chi square testing.
- You must have data on at least two variables if you want to use a multidimensional chi square test.
- The variable categories used must be mutually exclusive. In other words, they must each be independent groups and not be found in more than one of the contingency table cells.
- Further to the third criterion, every observation made must be independent of every single other one. You cannot use the chi square test if you’ve got more than one observation attached to each participant as it is not for use with a repeated measures design.

## A Step-by-Step Guide to Reporting Your Findings

SPSS is a great software package for all kinds of data mining purposes. The main hurdle you’ll face is getting to grips with how to input, interpret and report your data. This step-by-step guide aims to take all the guesswork out of your chi square output interpretation attempts, leading you to the final step of finding out how to report chi square results from SPSS. Once you know what you’re doing, chi- quare output interpretation will become much easier.

- Although it is not often used, you can perform a one-dimensional test by going to the Analyze menu and selecting Nonparametric Tests. You’ll see the Chi Square command in this drop-down menu. However, you probably won’t need to this method of how to report chi square results from SPSS in Psychology.
- The multidimensional chi square test is performed in a different way from the approach outlined above. You still need to select the Analyze menu, but this time, go to Descriptive Statistics and then select the Crosstabs command.
- Now you’ll see a new window pop up, in which you’ll find a list of your variables and spaces for your rows and columns. Select the variable that’ll fit in the rows of your contingency table, then do the same for your columns and their associated variables.
- Click on the Statistics button to bring up a dialog box in which you’ll see several tick boxes. Make sure that the Chi square box is checked and then select Continue to close the dialog box.
- Once you’re back to the Crosstabs window, you can click the Cells button, which gives you access to another dialog box. Make sure that the 5 following boxes are checked: Observed Count, Expected Count, Row Percentages, Column Percentages and Total Percentages. Then, click Continue to return to the Crosstabs window.
- Now you can click OK to switch to the output window and see your contingency table alongside the chi square results.

If you want to run a test like a chi square SPSS is the right program to use. As long as you understand the principles underlying such a test, you can confidently use SPSS for this purpose. If there’s any doubt at all in your mind, get in touch with one of our expert statisticians for an in-depth walkthrough.