How Reverse Coding in SPSS?

reverse coding in spss help

Anyone who wants to really control the software needs to learn a little SPSS coding. Those with extensive experience in the field of computer science will find this to be quite easy. Fortunately, the programming code that the software uses is not too different from many other object-oriented programming languages, so those who have experience with anything high-level that makes use of mathematical commands over memory coordinate ones should be ready to go. Besides, choosing between SPSS or Minitab is rather difficult for many users, but our professional guide will help to show when one is clearly better than the other.

Taking Care of SPSS Coding

Remember to always label variables and enter any scores as normal when starting to reverse code. This is much easier when learning how to code data in SPSS than to mentally reverse everything. Those who reverse everything in their head and then enter them as reversed have a tendency to make mistakes along the way. Keep a few basic programming tips in mind whenever reverse coding and follow these steps:

  • After the variables have been entered, click on Transform and select “Recode into Same Variable” or different if things haven’t been coded in one take. Selecting the “Different” function reverses each score and includes them in an extra variable.
  • Select the variable that needs to be recoded and enter new values for each response.
  • Repeat this process for each thing that had to be reverse coded.
  • If any data values are missing in the data coding, be sure to mark them coded as missing.
  • Check the data entry options by running the Frequencies or Descriptives Min Max features to make sure that each individual Likert items are in the right range.

Use syntax features to recode variables, and remember that whenever data is being transformed it’s very useful to keep a syntax file on hand to point to later on. This will help keep the way that the code was redone in mind. In addition, learning how to do descriptive statistics in SPSS is a great way to improve connectivity between programs. This guide will show how it’s done easily.

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Using the Compute Command

There’s a little SPSS coding trick that involves the compute command. If someone wants to recode a 5-point Likert scale, they can easily use the reverse coded Q01 feature with:

COMPUTE RQ01 = (6 – Q01) .

Those who want to avoid creating new variables should change the code line to:

COMPUTE Q01 = (6 – Q01) .

A full 5 point scale recode could be as easy as:

RECODE Q01 (1 = 5) (2 = 4) (4 = 2) (5 = 1)

Nevertheless, the compute command is usually viewed as a more efficient manner of coding.

If you need help with reverse coding in SPSS – simply contact us!