Let’s use the same data set as in the Excel histogram example to create a histogram with SPSS. Thus, we’ll enter the IQ score data into the SPSS spreadsheet. However, in this case, each individual score is entered. This is illustrated in the screen capture below in which all 30 scores have been entered into SPSS. (Please note that due to screen size constraints, the final four scores do not show in the screen capture. Thus, make sure you use the IQ data from the earlier table that we used when creating a histogram using Excel.)
The variable was named IQscore using the Variable View screen and it was designated a Numeric variable with the Scale level of measurement. To name the variable, click on the Variable View tab at the bottom of the window and type the name you wish to give the variable in the highlighted Name box. The variable name cannot have any spaces in it. Because these data represent intelligence score data, we’ll type in IQscore. Note also that the Type of data is Numeric. Once the variable is named, highlight the Data View tab on the bottom left of the screen in order to get back to the data spreadsheet. (See Appendix C: “Getting Started with Excel and SPSS,” if you are unfamiliar with naming variables.) From the Data View spreadsheet screen, select Graphs, and then Chart Builder… to receive the following dialog boxes.
Select Histogram and then double-click on the first example of a histogram. In the dialog box on the top left of the screen, click on IQscore and drag it to the x-axis box in the histogram on the right. Then, in the Element Properties box on the right highlight Bar1, as in the screen capture above and then click on Set Parameters to receive the following dialog box:
Make sure that Automatic is selected as the option in the first box. In the second box, select Custom and set the Number of intervals at 18 (the number of different IQ scores received by the 30 participants in the study). Then click Continue and then Apply. Finally, click OK in the dialog box on the left and you should receive the histogram in the output file.
Notice that the bars are touching, except for those instances in which there were missing scores.