In statistics, there are three common ways to measure where the “center” of a dataset is located:
- Mean: The average value.
- Median: The middle value, located at the 50th percentile.
- Mode: The most commonly occurring value.
These are known as measures of central tendency.
The easiest way to calculate the mean, median and mode in SPSS is to use Analyze > Descriptive Statistics > Frequencies.
The following example shows how to do so in practice.
Example: How to Calculate Mean, Median and Mode in SPSS
Suppose we have the following dataset in SPSS that shows the exam scores received by various students in some class:
Suppose that we would like to calculate the mean, median and mode of the exam scores.
To do so, click the Analyze tab, then click Descriptive Statistics, then click Frequencies:
In the new window that appears, drag Exam_Score to the Variables panel:
Then click the Statistics button.
In the new window that appears, check the boxes next to Mean, Median and Mode under the Central Tendency group:
Then click Continue. Then click OK.
The following output will appear:
The first table in the output titled Statistics contains the values of the mean, median and mode of exam scores.
From this table we can see:
- Mean exam score: 89.67
- Median exam score: 92
- Mode exam score: 97
The second table then shows the frequency of each unique exam score.
From this table we can see that the value 97 occurs 3 times, which is the most frequently occurring value and thus the mode.
The following tutorials explain how to perform other common operations in SPSS: