By Neil Frude (auth.)

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Extra resources for A Guide to SPSS/PC+

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3 Preparation of the questionnaire and code book When developing a questionnaire it is useful to write out a codebook - a list of the variables corresponding to the items of the questionnaire, together with 18 A Guide to SPSS/PC+ information about how data relating to each of the items will eventually be coded. Decisions may be made at this stage about such matters as how many digits (columns) will be needed to code a particular variable, and what codes will be assigned to particular answers. Such information may enable the person designing the questionnaire to include information, on the questionnaire form itself, that will later make the task of entering data into the dataset swift and accurate.

We have data on each of four variables for each of our four cases, making 16 data points within our dataset. A typical SPSS/PC+ project may involve hundreds of cases, and up to 500 variables may be represented within a single dataset. 2 Coding strategies Most of the examples provided in this book use data from a survey in which a number of students (cases) responded to a written questionnaire. The Gender Attitude Survey is briefly described in Appendix C. To analyze the results of this survey each questionnaire item is treated as a separate variable.

If, during coding, missing or 'spoiled' data are encountered, the missing value(s) should be entered into the columns assigned to the relevant variables. Coding with valid values will resume when legitimate responses are once again present on the questionnaire. (viii) Data columns: When the questionnaires have been completed by Collecting and Coding Data 25 respondents in the study, the value for each variable will need to be represented within the dataset. Sometimes an actual numerical value will be included (as for age- 'age in years' or nochil- 'number of children'), but the values included for many variables are likely to be codes (thus, for the variable, sex, I might be entered into the dataset for each male subject, and 2 might be entered for each female subject).

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