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Basic SPSS Question About Z-Scores

  1. Oct 13, 2012 #1
    My university professor has assigned us a paper and we are just beginning to learn how to use SPSS. I am stuck on one particular question and am not sure how to proceed. This is the question:

    2) "A survey measuring attitudes toward same-sex marriage was administered to 1000 people. The survey asked the following questions:

    1) What is your age?
    2) What is your sex?
    i) Male
    ii) Female

    3) Marriages between people of the same sex do not work out and should be banned by law.
    i) Strongly agree
    ii) Agree
    iii) Undecided
    iv) Disagree
    v) Strongly disagree

    4) How many years of schooling have you completed?
    5) Which category below best describes the place where you grew up?
    i) Large city
    ii) Medium-size city
    iii) Suburbs of a city
    iv) Small town
    v) Rural area

    6) What is your martial status?
    i) Married
    ii) Separated or divorced
    iii) Widowed
    iv) Never married

    The scores of 20 respondents are reproduced below:

    Case / Age / Sex / Attitude On same-sex marriage / Years of school / Area / Marital Status
    [the 20 cases and data is here]

    a) For each variable, construct a frequency distribution and select and calculate an appropriate measure of central tendency and measure of dispersion. Summarize each variable in a sentence.

    b) For all 1000 respondents, the mean age was 34.70 with a standard deviation of 3.4 years. Assuming the distribution of age is approximately normal, compute Z scores for each of the first 10 respondents above and determine the percentage of the area below (younger than) each respondent."

    For a), how do I go about constructing a frequency distribution from my 20 cases?
    For b), what confuses me is how do I set the standard deviation of 3.4 years in SPSS? Or am I thinking this question out incorrectly? Much thanks if you can guide me with SPSS!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Hey superstats.

    For a frequency distribution go to the descriptives, then explore and you'll get the option to produce a histogram as well as the other descriptive statistics with a normality plot.

    For b you need to consider the standard error of the mean and not the standard deviation: they are related but not the same. This is again an option in SPSS in one of the descriptives (forget which one).
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