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How to Work with Explore Command in SPSS

  • SPSS is a statistical software package that provides various procedures to analyze the data. This software package allows the user to enter and manipulate the data by using a variety of data analysis features like – basic statistics, analysis of variance, regression analysis, time series analysis, professional graphics etc. SPSS has a unique feature that allows the users to program the commands, in order to carry out the procedures that are not included in SPSS. One can start working with SPSS by clicking on the Windows icon in the SPSS folder. The commands to process the data can be carried out in three ways, that can be described as – the menu system, writing SPSS syntax and using SPSS scripts. The help system of the SPSS software package explains how to use the built-in commands to process and analyze the data.


    Explore’ is one of the important built-in commands in SPSS that is used to measure the central tendency, dispersion, kurtosis, skewness, etc. and prepare histograms, leaf plots, stem plots and Turkey box plots based on that data. The explore command allows the users to generate an array of descriptive statistics for a particular variable. The variable should be capable of summarizing the spread, shape, center and other deviations in the distribution. The users can compare two or more than two groups of variables in different descriptive statistics.  The explore command has the ability to generate a summary of the statistics for all the valid cases in each comparison group.

    Steps to Work with Explore Command

    • To run the explore command, select the ‘Analyze’ option from the menu bar. Click on the ‘Explore’ command’ from the ‘Descriptive statistics’ option.




    • The ‘Explore’ dialog box will appear, where you have to select the variables by selecting them and clicking on the ‘add’ button. The selected variable will be moved to the dependent list.



    • Click on the plots button in the same dialog box to specify the plots. Another dialog box will appear, where you have to select the plots by checking them.  Press the ‘continue’ button and the additional box will disappear leaving the ‘Explore’ dialog box.

    • Press the ‘OK’ button from the ‘Explore’ dialog box and the output will appear in the SPSS output viewer.  To see how to the output is generated  using the Exploring command in SPSS, see the below sample figure.

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