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Analysis A Qualitative Variable

We consider the situation where the questionnaire provides a list of answer options for a specific questions. Respondents choose one of these options. Of course it might happen that some respondents don't answer the question. This is nonresponse.

The question

Vraag 1


Coding in SPSS



Making a frequency table and a graph

To make a frequency table proceed as follows:
First you choose from the menu: Analyze > Descriptive Statistics > Frequencies.
Next you fill in the dialog box as shown below.

In general graphs are made using the GRAPHS menu.
But the Frequencies dialog box offers a few options as well. Click on the "Charts..." button to choose for a bar chart, a pie chart or a histogram, as shown below.

Next to an additional chart we can also obtain some statistics for the variables we have selected.
That option is not explored here. But you can easily experiment a little on your own. Just click on the "Statistics..." button and choose from the window that pops up the statistics you require.


The first result: Table


The first result: Graph


The edited table

We have added a title, a source, changed the labeling a little and removed the cumulative percentages, since they are meaningless in this case.


Note the difference between Percent, where the total number of cases (here it is 460) is used as base for the percentages, and Valid Percent, where the number of valid answers for this particular variable (here it is 451) is used as base for the percentages.


The edited graph

We have added a title, a source and data labels for the slices of the pie. Colors and font have been edited as well.
Usually we don't want a slice in the pie showing the missing values. So it has been removed.

Note: When you made a pie chart via Frequencies you can only get percentages as value labels. If you create a pie chart through the Graphs menu you can add the counts as well.
The percentages shown in the graph are the Valid Percent values from the table.


Last modified 30-10-2012

Jos Seegers, 2009; English version by Gé Groenewegen.