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SPSS Statistics for Data Analysis and Visualization by Jason Verlen, Andrew Wheeler, Jon Peck, Jesus Salcedo, Keith McCormick

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Chapter 17 Automate Your Analyses with SPSS Syntax and the Output Management System

When I first started using SPSS Statistics, the version of the software that my university supported only consisted of a blank screen where we had to enter in our data and type command syntax to run any routine. Needless to say, I did not like using SPSS.

Some years later, still as an undergraduate student, I was working on a consulting project for which, among other things, we had to use The Sixteen Personality Factors Questionnaire (16 PF) to predict career interest scores on both the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) and the Campbell Interest and Skill Survey (CISS). At first this seemed like an easy enough task; I had to build a linear regression model, using all 16 personality factors, to predict interest in each career (of which several hundred careers exist between the two tests).

Using a newer version of SPSS Statistics (that had menus and windows), I ran my first regression, I looked over the results, and everything seemed okay. I ran a second regression, I looked over the results, and everything seemed okay. I did this a few more times and then I realized that this project was going to take a lot longer than I originally thought, unless I resorted to my old “friend” syntax.

So I rebuilt my first regression using menus and windows, clicked the Paste button to open the Syntax Editor, and then I copied my syntax and pasted it several hundred times within the Syntax Editor. Then I changed ...

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