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Data editing Count

For a multiple response question respondents are allowed to tick more than one answer box.
"Count values within cases" allows you to count how many options a single respondents did tick.

Example of a question:

Vraag 4



Once all the answers are processed part of the data window might look like this:


Using count:

count command

The central idea of "Count values within Cases" is to count per case how many options the respondent has chosen. In other words, how many times does the code 1 occur in the five variables V04A - V04E?

In the Count dialog box you first of all have to indicate which variables will be included in the counting process.
You also specify the name of the target variable plus (optional) a variable label.

Next click on the button and specify which values you want to count. In our case it is the number 1, since that represents the boxes that were ticked.

The screen dumps above shows you that there are several options for how and what to count. Try to imagine how the other options could be useful.


The result in the data matrix:

Since the variable "Number" is based on a counting process it won't need decimals. If your SPSS default setting includes 2 decimal places you might want to change the decimals for "Number" to 0.

Here you see the frequency distribution for the variable Number:

Among other things the table shows us that 4 respondents (8% of the total group) ticked all the boxes. They might be labeled as heavy internet users.


Last modified 30-10-2012

Jos Seegers, 2009; English version by Gé Groenewegen.