PSPP for Beginners

What is SPSS?

The Statistics Package for the Social Sciences, commonly called SPSS, is a long-time favorite software for scientists and researchers who conduct statistical analyses. It was one of the first statistics software packages with a user-friendly graphical user interface. It can perform a wide range of analyses and graphs. These features have made it a standard, especially in the social sciences.

Unfortunately, SPSS has some significant drawbacks. It is quite expensive. The licensing is very restrictive, requiring an annual renewal. These drawbacks pose significant problems for budget conscious students and educational institutions.

What is PSPP?

The good news is that PSPP is a free alternative to SPSS. PSPP is free in more than one sense. It can be downloaded at no cost, which open source software advocates describe as being like "free beer". PSPP can also be freely shared in regard to licensing requirements. It can be installed on any compatible computer, including Windows, Macs, and Linux. The functionality does not expire at the end of one year.

PSPP has been designed to work in a manner similar to SPSS. It can do many of the same statistical functions as SPSS. The feature set of PSPP is more than sufficient for the needs of beginning statisticians. The official PSPP pages have more details about the purpose of the software and a quick tour that includes some screenshots.

Our mission

These web pages were developed to show beginning students how do basic statistical analyses with PSPP software. It has been written for the needs of people who have no experience in using statistical software. The aim is to cover the fundamental analyses that would likely be done in an entry-level statistics class.

This introductory guide, like PSPP, is made available under an open license to enable sharing. Please feel free to download these files to your computer or use them as a resource for your statistics course. It would be courteous to provide an attribution to the developer (Gary Fisk) and this web site if you share these with your course. More details about the open licensing area available from the Creative Commons link shown below and the credits page at the end of this tutorial.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License that allows sharing, adapting, and remixing.