How to Calculate Mean, Median and Mode in SPSS


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:

SPSS mean median and mode

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.

Related: Real Life Examples of Using Mean, Median, & Mode

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common operations in SPSS:

How to Calculate Interquartile Range in SPSS
How to Create a Frequency Table in SPSS
How to Calculate Percentiles in SPSS

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