SPSS, part 3: Frequencies

% frequencies may look big, but they depend on the number of participants, so always look at the normal frequency to compare.

Analyze -> Descriptive Stats -> Frequencies

  • move variables into box on right
  • click “Statistics” to choose only the descriptives and percentiles you want along with the frequencies
  • click “Charts” to choose histograms (continuous variables) or bar charts (categorical variables)
  • you can split the file beforehand to look at (e.g.) gender separately

To get box-plots you have to use Analyze -> Descriptive Stats -> Explore

  • put variables in the “Dependent List”
  • put variable you want to split file by in “Factor List”
  • click “Plots” to choose histogram too, and tick “Both” at bottom


  • use mainly to compare the max and min values of groups
  • longer horizontal line = more variation in scores (range is bigger)
  • box-pos-skew = positive skew = skew_pos
  • box-neg-skew = negative skew = skew_neg
  • can compare medians: