Chapter 5

Computing Variables


Bullet Calculating new variables

Bullet Computing with more complex variables

Bullet Working with system variables

Bullet Working with string variables

Bullet Using multiple functions

The Compute Variable dialog is one of the most frequently used dialogs in SPSS because it contains dozens of functions as well as numerous arithmetic and logical operators that perform all kinds of calculations. This dialog is where you go to make new variables out of existing ones.

In this chapter, we focus on the variety of functions available in the Compute Variable dialog. We won’t discuss them all, but we do provide examples of several of the most useful ones.

SPSS divides functions into function groups. Here’s just a sampling of the kinds of functions you’ll find:

  • Arithmetic functions
  • Statistical functions
  • String functions
  • String and numeric conversion functions
  • Date and time functions
  • Random variable and distribution functions
  • Missing value functions
  • Logical functions

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