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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2011
Format: Spiral-bound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In general, I think you can never have too many statistics textbooks, and this one is a reasonable addition to your shelf. The text proceeds through the basic assumptions of the commonest statistical tests you'd find in e.g. a social sciences research methods class, and is an OK guide to the use and interpretation of SPSS's output in response. There are a few things you should be aware of, though :

-The nature of the SPSS output is explained in, mostly, 1-3 solid pages of text which aren't well-segmented or placed under headings, and thus not particularly easy to read through - you're tacitly nudged towards reading through the entire 3 pages, whereas you may simply want to refer to something specific for a moment instead.

-The language used throughout requires a moderate degree of statistical knowledge to interpret in the first place.

-There are a few places where you'll read "this is outwith the scope of this book", which, while true, is not exactly helpful, although you will be pointed towards other, more comprehensive sources of further reading.

-There are one or two fairly definitive proclamations in the text which should be taken with a grain of salt; although a mathematical procedure, statistics and their interpretations are rather rarely absolutely definitive; often, it's implications rather than irrefutable prediction. For example, the note that one should "never" replace a missing variable with a column mean (p127) is more or less opinion than fact - there are times when it can be useful. Similarly, the cautionary note regarding interpreting correlation results from restricted populations (p124) isn't an absolutely cut and dried matter either.

In all, this is a decent reference book for the price. I wouldn't, however, say it's a replacement for Andy Fields' "Discovering Statistics Using SPSS" - Pallant's book is a shorter reference overall, whereas Field explains everything in a more easily digestible format. Field's book, however, is decently more expensive.
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Format: Spiral-bound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is an excellent guide to SPSS, or to be very specific IBM SPSS version 18. It is not an exhaustive volume containing in index-like detail all of the commands or purposes SPSS could be used for. Instead it provides a user-focussed approach to the software from the first principals of designing and collecting numeric data, to basic analytical techniques through to more complex procedures from regression at the simpler end to Factor Analysis. Very usefully the book not only describes how to conduct statistical analyses' but also how to interpret the results from SPSS.

Any software manual is at the mercy of program updates. SPSS is currently now at version 19, but the book remains largely unaffected by the software's revision. In part this is because it is not a description of every menu and option but deals with real applications of SPSS. For new users, or those who haven't used SPSS for a while, I'd recommend it.
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Format: Spiral-bound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This most recent edition of Julie Pallant's SPSS bible (I had an earlier version as a student many moons ago) continues to combine a number of essential elements: clear explanations of different use cases for SPSS; guides on interpreting the (often voluminous and poorly labelled) output; and example data files (from real studies) to practice on. Obviously this has been upgraded for more recent versions of SPSS (which for some reason have got worse interfaces since being acquired by IBM), but most significantly for daily use, the whole book is in a spiral-bound format rather than a traditional paperback or hardback textbook. Anyone who has actually tried to work from a computer while reading from a reference manual next to them should appreciate this concession to practitioners - who owns a paperweight anymore?

If I had PhD students, this would be their welcome gift on their first day. Essential.
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on 2 November 2011
I teach research masters and doctoral students how to conduct business research. Much of the teaching in this field is high level and abstract, but students stumble because they don't think through what has to take place, or because they don't pay attention to having clear, vetted data. This book provides essential and practical support for such students - so they are less likely to produce 'rubbish' research because of failure to attend to the housekeeping. Julie's book contributes to better university research, and ultimately to clear thinking and practical innovation.
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on 25 September 2011
Got this book to help start the stats for phd. Excellent book-really explains how to do the different stats and goes through each test step by step and explains what the results actually mean in terms anyone can understand! However, I think if you are doing really complicated stats (modelling stats) this book is great to start off with but you may need to get a more indepth book
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on 28 December 2011
I am using this book to help me write up my statistics for my PhD. I gave up maths at 16 with a B at GCSE level, so to find a book that guides you through doing complex stats with absolute ease is incredible. It not only tells you what to do and why, but it also tells you how to write it up! If I have to use SPSS further in my academic career then I am buying this book! I have looked through a number of books on SPSS and stats, and this is by a long stretch the clearest and most useful. Ok, the downside to this book is that is isn't going to teach you SPSS for very advanced statisticians. But I am not one and never will be. I use SPSS as a tool to get my work done and nothing more. For what I need this book is perfect.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 March 2013
Format: Spiral-bound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have been using SPSS for many years now and have attended courses at SPSS HQ in Woking, where you get the best introduction to this software; but this book is a useful "aide memoire". I liked the large format and the spiral bound nature of this book, which means that you can fold it open on your desk and it is robust enough to last a long time.

The guide itself is a very practical approach to analysis and data mining - starting with getting the data in shape. I have been involved in a few projects where getting the data in a usable format has taken up over 90% of the total time. It then goes on to preliminary analysis, which is a very good idea, as many projects of this nature find nothing of statistical significance - I have been told by industry experts that two-thirds find nothing at all.

We are then on to look at descriptive statistics, which can be very useful and using graphs to look at the data. Then it's on to the real "meat" of the subject - with sections on things like correlation, regression, t-tests, chi-squared test etc. The book is generously illustrated with graphs and charts showing the kind of output you can expect and it is all split into logical chunks that are easy on the eye.

All in all, I found this book very useful to have on your desk, when using SPSS - although of course it's not much use to anyone who doesn't own this software or use it at work. I couldn't fault the approach, although I would have liked it to go further with visualisation and the kind of "add-ons" that are included in the software. I also would have liked some actual examples to work through - many other books on this subject include CDs with data sets and things to try. This book is a basic introduction, which is ideal for beginners, but it could have given you more.
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on 19 January 2013
This book was just what I needed to enable me to understand basic statistics required for my final year project at university (veterinary medicine degree). It is aimed at students who are not studying statistics and have little to no knowledge of the subject. It guides you from the very basics, starting with understanding how to use SPSS, input data, analyse the type of data and what tests are appropriate, how to carry them out in SPSS and how to interpret the results. It does this without going into unnecessary details that are often included in most statistics/SPSS books that I have come across. They often lose me in boring, overcomplicated details about the test that I do not need for my purposes. I cannot recommend this book enough for anyone who requires statistics in their thesis or project at university.
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on 2 May 2011
For those of you like me who needed a readable understandable book on how to do SPSS- this is the one for you. It was recommended by my tutor and worth every penny!
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on 20 April 2011
Format: Spiral-bound|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I signed up for a degree in statistics as I do a lot of statistical stuff at work, mostly through Excel and with a calculator. However this degree has brought me face to face with the demon that is SPSS. I can honestly say I thought it was going to get the best of me until I got this book. Its an outstanding example of what an instructional book should look like. My only question is why, seeing as it is published by the Open University, I wasnt issued a copy when I signed up to do my degree with them.
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