A **scatterplot** is a type of plot that we can use to display the relationship between two variables. It helps us visualize both the direction (positive or negative) and the strength (weak, moderate, strong) of the relationship between the two variables.

This tutorial explains how to create and interpret scatterplots in SPSS.

**How to Create Scatterplots in SPSS**

Suppose we have the following dataset that displays the hours studied and exam score received for 15 students:

We can create a scatterplot to visualize the relationship between hours studied and exam score received.

**Basic Scatterplot**

We can create a basic scatterplot in SPSS by clicking on the **Graphs** tab, then **Chart Builder**:

In the window that pops up, click **Scatter/Dot **in the **Choose from: **list. Then drag the first option that says **Simple Scatter** into the editing window. Drag the variable **hours **into the x-axis and **score **into the y-axis:

Once you click **OK**, the following scatterplot will appear:

By default, SPSS chooses a minimum point for the y-axis based on the smallest value in your dataset. In this example the minimum point on the y-axis is 65. To change this to 0, click **Y-Axis1 (Point1) **in the **Element Properties **box and set the **Minimum **value to 0:

Once you click **OK**, a new scatterplot will appear with the y-axis minimum value set to 0:

**Scatterplot with Regression Line**

We can also produce a scatterplot with a line of best fit by selecting the option called **Simple Scatter with Fit Line **in the Chart Builder window:

Once we click **OK**, a scatterplot with a line of best fit will appear:

The R^{2} value also appears in the top right hand corner of the plot. This represents the percentage of variation in the response variable that can be explained by the predictor variable. In this case, it means 66.2% of the variation in exam scores can be explained by the number of hours spent studying.

**Grouped Scatterplot**

Suppose we also have a categorical variable in our dataset, such as gender:

In this case, we could create a scatterplot of hours studied vs. exam score, grouped by gender.

To do so, we can once again open the Chart Builder and choose **Grouped Scatter **as the chart type. Once again we’ll place the variable **hours **on the x-axis and **score **on the y-axis, but this time we’ll add **gender **as the variable under **Set color**:

Once we click **OK**, the following grouped scatterplot appears:

The red circles represent males and the blue circles represent females.