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How to Run and Analyze Frequencies in SPSS

frequencies in SPSSSPSS is a data management software package which involves statistical analysis of data through graphical representation.  By using SPSS one can perform tasks related to data management and statistical analysis. Initially, it was developed for social researchers and as the modules in the software package increased it became a cross-disciplinary package. Today, it is used by market researchers, government, survey companies, education researchers etc. SPSS is written like a programming language, where the users can write SPSS syntax to perform the desired task. There are some procedures like – “Frequencies”, “Descriptives”, “Explore”, “Crosstabs”, and “Ratio”  that can be used to look at single variables.


A frequency is used for describing the variables by analyzing the detailed information. The frequency option includes a table that exhibits counts,  percentages, percentile values, dispersion, distribution, central tendency and charts.  The frequency test can be used to have a first look at the data. On running the frequencies in SPSS, one can generate bar charts, where distinct data values in different categories are sorted in ascending or descending order. This form of graphical representation allows the user to determine the level of data distribution. If the user feels that the variable is exhibiting a number of distinct values, then the charts can be labeled with frequencies and the reports can be curbed.

Steps to Run Frequencies in SPSS

In order to run and analyze the frequencies in SPSS, one should follow the below steps.

1. In the data editor window, click the“Analyze” option, highlight “Descriptive statistics” and choose “Frequencies” on the submenu.


 2. The “Frequencies” dialog box will be seen on the screen and the list of variables is seen in the box at left side. Select the variables and click the add button to add the selected variable to the variables window.


3. After adding the desired variables, click the statistic button displayed at the bottom of the box. You will see percentile values, Dispersion, central Tendency measures, and distribution options. Check the statistics that are required and click the continue button.

4. The “charts” dialogue box will appear, in which you have to select  the type of chart and press continue.


5. Click the format button to organize the results in desired format (like ascending, descending…. Etc) and press continue.


6. At last, press the OK button in the frequency window  to run the analysis. After running the above steps, one can see the final result  in a separate SPSS window.

Below is a sample output, which can be interpreted on the basis graph shown in the chart.


 Frequency distribution of the siblings


 This is a sample chart which represents the requested data.


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