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PSPP-BUG: Inconsistency with SPSS when setting missing strings values wi
PSPP-BUG: Inconsistency with SPSS when setting missing strings values with a number
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 17:52:22 -0700
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I'm not sure if I've discovered a small bug or have simply made an
unusual user error.
Background: Every semester I have my statistical analysis class compose
a set of survey questions for themselves, answer the questions, then use
the responses to create a dataset. My university has SPSS available, but
not everyone can get it working (esp. now that classes are all online),
so I recommend using PSPP as an alternative. Since I'm running Ubuntu
bionic at home, this is perfect for me.
The problem: In the PSPPire GUI, we marked missing values for string
variables with a zero (i.e., a "0" without the quote-marks) and then
declared them to be missing as discrete values via the Variable View. I
presumed this would work fine. When running frequencies in PSPP, all
cases marked with a 0 successfully showed up as missing. When using this
dataset--wholly created in PSPP during class time--in SPSS, however,
students found that the cases that should have been missing were not
marked as such, and just appeared in output tables as zeroes. I borrowed
my partner's laptop and opened our dataset in SPSS and found the same
problems the SPSS-using students had. SPSS showed missing values of 0
for those variables in the Variable View, so I was confused why they
were nor marked as missing when doing a frequency test.
While in SPSS, I used the following syntax to try to reset the missing
values to 0:
missing values [VARIABLENAME] (0).
This didn't change any of the frequency results. But, I wondered if SPSS
might have thought that the missing value was set to the numeral 0, as
opposed to a string of 0, so I used:
missing values [VARIABLENAME] ("0").
Instantly the values were caught as missing. In other words, I think
that our use of the number 0 in PSSP didn't appropriately set itself as
a character/string of "0"... or SPSS couldn't recognize this with the
PSPP-created dataset. Or maybe, despite these variables being strings,
we were somehow inappropriately allowed to enter a number value for
missing in the Variable View.
For myself, I was using PSPPire 1.0.1 and SPSS 27.
I can share our PSPP-created and SPSS-saved/fixed dataset if this would
help figure out the problem.
Dana Williams, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology
California State University, Chico
- PSPP-BUG: Inconsistency with SPSS when setting missing strings values with a number,
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