4.9 Use Script and Syntax Files for Statistical Analyses: PASW (SPSS) Statistics v.17 video


Each statistical analysis in PASW is actually executed through
a special programming language behind the scenes. This specific code used for analysis could be captured. It could be stored as a script file and
it could also be edited later on. Scripting is a time saving tool. It automates a series
of statistical analysis and your data files can change, just as long as you have consistent variables you can use this particular concept. To create a script file to run your analysis, we first need
to open up the data that we want to use. Ensure you have your classdata.sav data file open and the
first thing we need to do is prompt PASW to let the program know that we want to start recording
and capturing each one of the commands in the log. To do this, we need to first select our edit menu. Then
select options. In the options dialog box,select the viewer tab. Ensure the display command in the log check box
is checked. Then, select the ok button. To practice capturing the code, we are going to
go through a couple of examples now. First, let’s select the data menu so we can work
with our split file option. Select split file. To split the file based on the gender variable, select the
gender variable now. Select the compare groups option button. Then, transfer the gender variable to the Groups Based On list box. Now this is where the difference lies, instead of selecting ok to run your analysis, we’re going to select
the paste option to paste the command in your log. A syntax file will appear with your code caption in the log, It’s going to keep it as if it is a
running record of all the commands that you activate. Let’s click on the minimize button and run through another example. Let’s practice some more by setting up another test. This time, let’s select the Analyze menu. Mouse
down to Descriptive Statistics. Then, select Crosstabs. Select the gender variable and transfer into the Row(s) list box. Select the method variable and then transfer that to the Column(s) list box. Once again, select the Paste button. Once again, it adds the Analysis command to your log. Now, once you have run though all the tests and pasted those commands, you can actually save that as a syntax file
and use it for other data files. Select the File menu. Then select Save As. Choose the Desktop as the destination. Then, give it a name by typing
in a word or two in the File name list box. Then, select the Save button. Now let’s see how we work with these syntax files. First, close the syntax file that we currently have open, Now we are going to open up a pre-existing
syntax file to see how it works. Select your file menu. Mouse over Open. This time, select the Syntax option. Locate and select the Weekly Analysis file. Then, select the open button. The Weekly Analysis syntax should appear with the list of all of
the commands that you see listed on the left hand side. Go ahead and take a look at the prompts by scrolling down. There are multiple options that can be accessed
depending on what you need to do. Do you need to run all of the analysis now? Is
there a particular test that you want to run? You can choose the different ways that you want to go ahead
and begin your analysis by selecting the Run menu. There are multiple options available to you for running your analysis. The first option, All, allows you to run each and every
one of the commands that are pasted in your log. You have Selection. So if you take a look at
our currently selected number forty-five, which is Regression, it will simply run that one analysis. Then, you have To End. This will run from
your selected analysis, in our case, Regression, all the way down through split file, the graph, the
regression and any other tests we have after that. The last option, Step Through, allows you to choose
which range that you want to run. Let’s just go ahead and run all by selecting the All option. It takes but a few moments for PASW to analyze each one
of those tests that you have saved in that command. You can take a few moments to scroll through each one of the
tests that have been analyzed in your Output viewer now.

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