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MBA 650: Research and Statistics: Variables

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Your variables come straight from your survey questions. Since your variables' names can't include spaces in the SPSS software, you'll want to give each one a shorthand name that clearly points back to the original question. For instance, "I enjoy eating ice cream" becomes "EnjoyEating."


Your values for each variable come straight from the possible answers to your survey questions (e.g., your Likert scale).

Five-Point Likert Scale Seven-Point Likert Scale
Very Unimportant Strongly Agree
Somewhat Unimportant Agree Somewhat
Neither Important Nor Unimportant Agree
Somewhat Important Neither Agree Nor Disagree
Very Important Disagree
  Somewhat Disagree
  Strongly Disagree

Step 3: Variable View in SPSS

In order to edit your variables, you'll need to make sure that you're looking at the Variable View tab in SPSS.

From here you can rename your variables, change their type, input their values, and make any other changes that you deem necessary.

  • Name: To rename your variables, simply click on each variable's name, and then type in its new name (with no spaces).
  • Type: To change the variables' type, click on each variable's current type, and then click on the three dots [...] to open the Variable Type pop-up window. Select Numeric, and then click on the OK button.
  • Values: To input the variables' values, click on each variable's current value, and then click on the three dots [...] to open the Value Labels pop-up window. Enter both the value and label, and then click on the Add button. Repeat this step for each point on your Likert scale.

When you return to the Data View tab, your dataset should now look similar to this one.

If you would rather see your Likert scale values instead of their numbers, then you can click on the Value Labels button near the top of the SPSS screen.

And now you're now ready to run some analyses on your data!
You can continue with this tutorial by clicking on the Descriptive Analysis link below.