SPSS Syntax 102: Recoding and Computing Variables, Calculating Descriptive Statistics

Once you’ve set up your SPSS data file, created variable and value labels to aid in interpretation of future analyses, and cleaned the data as necessary, it might be time to recode and compute new variables. You may also want to calculate some basic descriptive statistics regarding key variables in your data set. All of these tasks are remarkably simple using SPSS syntax.

As a reminder, this forum focuses on common analyses performed by researchers and practitioners within organizational behavior, industrial/organizational psychology, and human resource management. An in-depth explanation of everything SPSS syntax can possibly Read more of this post

Using Excel 2007 to Organize Research References

After two years of work toward my Ph.D. in organizational science, I’ve conducted numerous literature searches and downloaded quite a few full-text PDFs of research articles—1,374 of them, to be precise. So it’s fortunate that very early in my graduate school experience, I figured out a way to organize all of those files in a manner that I can easily (a) locate, (b) search, (c) sort, and (d) modify. In this short article, I explain what I did and how it helps me stay organized. Then, I provide a downloadable Excel 2007 workbook that you can use in the same manner.

To be fair, a number of software programs designed to catalog and store research references and citations exist. Read more of this post

Hiring the Right People in a Labor Market Flush with Talent: The Importance of Valid Selection Practices

It’s about supply and demand, human-resource style. Remember when the unemployment rate in the United States was less than 5%? According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, that describes about five of the past 10 years. That also describes times when employers spent much of their energy on recruiting talent, or wooing top performers to apply for jobs.

But times have changed. The unemployment rate now sits at 8.9%, which means employers everywhere are coping with huge numbers of job applicants for a small number of job openings. Recruiting is still important, and valid selection is always important. In a labor market flush with talent, however, figuring out whom to hire from the crowd is all the more crucial—and tricky. Read more of this post

SPSS Syntax 101: Basic Guidelines, Variable and Value Labels

Perhaps you’re now convinced that using SPSS syntax might save you some time in the long run. Maybe you even now know how to create a new syntax file.

So what do you do with that file and how do you make it manage or analyze your data?

As a reminder, this forum focuses on common analyses performed by researchers and practitioners within organizational behavior, industrial/organizational psychology, and human resource management. An in-depth explanation of everything SPSS syntax can possibly do is far beyond this forum’s scope. The focus here is on practical issues and no-nonsense knowhow to bolster your productivity. Read more of this post

SPSS Basics: Getting Started with Syntax

Getting started is half the battle, especially when trying to learn a new software program or trying to accomplish a new task in a familiar one. In a previous post, I discussed some of the advantages of using syntax in SPSS instead of the software program’s drop-down menus. As an astute reader commented, syntax can be very frustrating because it requires the user to follow its specifications very closely. That means that any misplaced characters or punctuation can prevent your program from running correctly, or from running at all.

So is SPSS syntax worth learning for garden-variety social scientists studying organizational behavior, industrial and organizational psychology, and other related fields? Read more of this post

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