Skip to content The Open University

SPSS Statistics Tutorial

Interactive tutorials for Social Sciences and Psychology students

Welcome to SPSS Statistics Tutorial

The aim of these tutorials is to provide a gentle introduction to statistics used in the social sciences, and the computer programme we use to carry out these analyses. We know that statistics can be more than a little daunting for a number of our students, often because they have not had much experience with them, or because they are worried about the maths that might be involved. These interactive videos are designed to help you familiarise yourself with the basic statistics that you are likely to use as part of your course and reduce any anxieties you may have about studying and using statistics.

The good news is that these days, when we carry out statistics in social science, very little of it is done by hand. Instead, we use a computer programme to do most of the hard work for us. The most common computer software that we use for carrying out statistics in the social sciences is the aptly named: Statistical Package for the Social Sciences or SPSS.  Although just to confuse things for you, version 18 of the SPSS programme changed its name to PASW… which promptly changed back to SPSS again for version 19. The tutorials available here are all based on version 22, but don't worry if you have a different version of the programme – they are all recognisable!

While using SPSS may help to cut down the amount of maths and calculations that students have to do by hand, we understand that using it also adds another layer of complexity to learning about statistics… as it means having to learn how to use an entirely new computer program. But don't worry – these tutorials have also been developed to help guide you through the SPSS program itself, interactively taking you through the basics of what the program can do, with the aim of increasing your familiarity and confidence with using SPSS. You don't even need to have SPSS installed on your computer to use them.

The following pages contain a series of tutorials covering introductory, intermediate and advanced topics that are key to mastering statistics and SPSS. This resource will be updated from time-to-time with new interactive videos, examples and resources, so please feel free to make use of it as much as possible to increase your experience with the topics covered.

To get started, just choose on one of the options below, or on the relevant tab at the top of this page. Once you have started each tutorial, simply follow the instructions on the screen.

Note that you must have at least Adobe Flash Player 7 installed to run the tutorials – You may be prompted if you have not got this installed. Most modern computers have a relatively recent version of Flash player installed in any case. A link to installing the Flash player is provided below.

Get Adobe Flash Player The interactive tutorials on this website require Adobe Flash Player.
Get Adobe Flash Player

Last updated: 25 September 2018

More resources

Other Open University SPSS resources are available from the Social Science generic materials website. Scroll to the bottom of the page to access tutorials and instructions for downloading SPSS onto your computer.