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Re: PSPP Windows - Recode Multiple Variables ?

From: Andy Choens
Subject: Re: PSPP Windows - Recode Multiple Variables ?
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 09:35:53 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20080724)

David Purdy wrote:
Andy (/Jason),
Many thanks for the COMPUTE suggestion and example - how is this implemented in the Windows/GUI version ?   I've tried various codings but with no success (and can't trace any other examples).

What I wrote should work on the windows version too. I'm not real sure how (if) you can use the GUI to actually recode multiple variables into one. Although the GUI is fairly powerful, I'm not sure that capacity exists yet. (Others here may correct me. In all honesty, I don't even know how to do this on SPSS through the GUI.)

I usually find the GUI most useful for helping me to remember my variables. Variable view is your friend. Otherwise I have little use for it all. Learning how to read / write PSPP syntax is going to open up all sorts of new possibilities for you that the GUI will never be able to match.

Advantages include:
1) Reproducibility - you know what you did (every last detail)
2) Reproducibility - you can do it over and over again (very quickly), when necessary.
3) mailing-list. It's easier to write code here than to send you screenshots.
4) Speed - You can type faster than you can click (and cut and paste is nice too!)

If you want to use my example, use the GUI to input the variables and cases. Then go to File -> New -> Syntax and cut and paste my syntax (code) into the syntax window. Make sure you get ALL of it, including the periods (It won't work without the periods.) Then Run -> All.

SPSS syntax doesn't have to be a full coding experience. For small, quick projects I often open up the .sav file, type in some syntax and tell it to go. In SPSS I'll use the GUI to tweak my tables a little (titles, etc.) but most of my work is done in the syntax.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:26 PM
Subject: Re: PSPP Windows - Recode Multiple Variables ?

David Purdy wrote:
Is it possible to recode multiple sets of field values into a single new field ?, e.g. newfield = 1 where field1 = 5 or field2 = 5

Yes it is.

And if so, how ?   TIA.   (I've checked the manual)

Let's say I have a data set that looks like this: (sorry about the sloppy formatting)

name      gender      age
andy         1               10
george     1               8
sue           2               6
karen       2               11
billy          1               10
fran          2               14
mike         1               15

I would like to have a variable that tells me which of these are boys (gender = 1) AND over the age of 10. Looking at the list we can easily see that mike is the only case that meets these criteria. But, how can we figure it out?

COMPUTE test1 = 0 .
IF (gender = 1) & (age > 10) test1 = 1 .

This will create a new variable that I've named test1, for lack of a better name (it's an example). Obviously, we need a TRUE / FALSE type variable, so the first line creates our variable AND sets it's value equal to 0 (FALSE). The second line looks for those cases where the conditions are met and sets test1 = 1 (TRUE). In the end, our new dataset looks like:

name      gender      age      test1
andy         1               10         0
george     1               8           0
sue           2               6           0
karen       2               11         0
billy          1               10         0
fran          2               14         0
mike         1               15         1

Andrew Choens, MSW
Research Policy Analyst
Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc.
(518) 273 - 1614


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Andrew Choens, MSW
Research Policy Analyst
Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc.
(518) 273 - 1614

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