**Exercises Using Data from the 1996 General Social Survey to Teach Comparing Means in SPSS**__ __

Edward E. Nelson and Elizabeth N. Nelson

California State University, Fresno

*© The Authors, 1998; Last Modified 16 August 1998*

Note to the instructor: The data set used in this exercise is g96asp.por which is a subset of the 1996, General Social Survey. (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use and some new variables have been created.) This exercise focuses on comparing means using t-tests and one way analysis or variance. The exercises were written to accompany

SPSS for Windows Version 7.5: A Basic Tutorial, by Richard Shaffer, Edward Nelson, Nan Chico, John Korey, Elizabeth Nelson, and Jim Ross. The ISBN is 0-07-366023-X. There is a version of this book (with accompanying data disk) currently available for SPSS 6. To order this book, call McGraw-Hill at 1-800-338-3987. The ISBN is 0-07-913673-7. You have permission to use this exercise and to revise it to fit your needs. Please send a copy of any revision to the authors.

Authors:

Ed Nelson and Elizabeth Nelson

Department of Sociology

California State University, Fresno

Fresno, CA 93740

Phone:209-278-2275 (Ed) and 209-278-2234 (Elizabeth)

Email:ednelson@csufresno.edu and/or elizn@csufresno.eduPlease contact the authors for additional information.

- Compute the mean age (AGE) of respondents who voted for Clinton, Bush, and Perot (PRES92). Which group had the youngest mean age and which had the oldest mean age?
- Use the independent-samples t test to compare the mean family income (INCOME91) of men and women (SEX). Which group had the highest mean income? Was the difference statistically significant (i.e., was the significance value less than .05)?
- Use the independent-samples t test to compare the mean age (AGE) of respondents who believe and do not believe in life after death (POSTLIFE). Which group had the highest mean age? Was the difference statistically significant (i.e., was the significance value less than .05)?
- Use One-Way Analysis of Variance to compare the mean years of school completed (EDUC) of respondents who voted for Clinton, Bush, and Perot (PRES92). Which group had the most education and which had the least education? Was the F-value statistically significant (i.e., was the significance value less than .05)