In SPSS, how do I generate a new variable?
To create a new variable in SPSS, use the
command. You can use this command in many ways:
- To create a variable called
totalequal to the sum of variables
v4, the syntax is: compute total = v1+v2+v3+v4.
- You can use most basic mathematical expressions to combine
variables into new variables with
computestatements. Alternatively, you can also use SPSS functions with
computecommands. For example, the following command also adds the values of
v4to create a variable called
total: compute total = sum(v1 to v4).
Note: The difference between the two procedures above is that in the first procedure, the case on
totalwould be missing if any one of the four variables had missing values on a case; in the second procedure, the total would be computed while ignoring missing values on the four variables.
- You can use the
computecommand to create a copy of an existing variable that can be modified or recoded, while preserving the original values of the variable. For example, if you wish to create a copy of the variable
v1a, type: compute v1a = v1.
- You can also use the
computecommand to create a constant variable. For example, if you wish to create a constant variable called
v5and the value for the constant is 1, type: compute v5 = 1.
For more on the
compute command, refer to the
Command Syntax Reference (PDF).
If you have questions about using statistical and mathematical software at Indiana University, email UITS Research Analytics (formerly known as the Stat/Math Center). Research Analytics is located on the IU Bloomington campus at Woodburn Hall 200, and is open for consultation by appointment Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. For more, visit Research Analytics on the web, or call 812-855-4724 (IUB) or 317-278-4740 (IUPUI).
Last modified on November 15, 2013.