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Date:   Thu, 31 Jul 2003 11:11:41 -0500
Reply-To:   Michael Granaas <>
Sender:   "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:   Michael Granaas <>
Subject:   converting several items into a single item
Content-Type:   text/plain; charset=us-ascii

For myself I would favor clearer subject lines. Right now I delete most messages from the list without reading. They don't interest me right now, but the small effort of deleting unread messages about date conversions is a small price to pay for the knowledge that should I ever need to know about date conversions the information will be out there somewhere.

On that theme--converting several items into a single item has come across my desk. The folks who entered the data had questions with several possible responses (e.g., your primary training is...). They then created a separate variable for each possible response. So if there were 8 possible responses they created 8 variables. These variables are coded as endorsed (1) or not-endorsed (system missing). As far as I can tell only one of the 8 items is endorsed for any individual and the remaining 7 are missing.

I've started recoding these into a single varible using a long series of IF statements:

IF v8a = 1 new8 = 1. If v8b = 1 new8 = 2. IF v8c = 1 new8 = 3.

and so on.

Is there a command that can accomplish the same thing?


**************************************************** Michael Granaas Assoc. Prof. Phone: 605 677 5295 Dept. of Psychology FAX: 605 677 3195 University of South Dakota 414 E. Clark St. Vermillion, SD 57069 *****************************************************

----- Original Message ----- From: "Paparodopoulos, Nikos" <> Date: Thursday, July 31, 2003 2:46 am Subject: Re: The purpose of this list. . .

> I agree with Nels that List is used sometimes in a not appropriate > mannerbut I would like to ask him to reconsider unsubscribing from > the List since > I believe that advanced SPSS users are key for the List. I agree > that List > sould not be misused for manual-trivial questions but we should > keep in mind > that progress in a field is triggered quite often from "simple" > questions.The interaction between SPSS users, irrespective of > their level (expert, > regular user, beginner), at the end of the day only positive > balance will > generate for everybody. > > Best regards > > Nikos Paparodopoulos > > -----Original Message----- > From: Nels Tomlinson [] > Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 10:25 PM > To: SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU > Subject: Re: The purpose of this list. . . > > > Guess I didn't make myself clear enough. The problem I see isn't > that the > questioners are ignorant; I was certainly ignorant the first few > weeks I was > using SPSS. The problem is that I see, over and over, people > asking us to > read the manual to them. Worse yet, some don't even want to hear > about the > manual: they want us to simply give them a solution. > > When I was teaching (economics and calculus), I found that the > students who > brought me homework and asked: ``How do I do this one?'' didn't > gain much > from my answers. The ones who'd tried the problems and asked: > ``Why doesn't > this way work?'' gained far more. The ones who never asked > questions were > even worse off, of course! I don't want to intimidate, or keep > anyone from > asking questions, but some preparation before posting will make > questionsmore rewarding for all. > > Too many of the questions seem to be on the order of ``do my > homework for > me, please''. A few have been so blatant that I found them a bit > offensive.There was one fellow (I think it was on this list) who > claimed to be a > consultant hired to do some project, and asked the list how to do > the work > he had contracted to do. He didn't offer to share his fee, either! > > I joined this list because I thought it would let me see a lot of > usefulquestions and answers, and let me learn from the mistakes of > others. What > I've found is that the signal-to-noise ratio is very bad, so that I'm > getting loads of emails and not very much useful information. > I've been > considering unsubscribing from the list because of the huge volume > of emails > from it which I delete unread. That's why I thought that Betty's > commentswere timely. > > I mentioned that the list's welcome message should contain > pointers to a FAQ > and some other resources. I also think that it would help if we > would all > point to specific pages in the manual (usually with some > clarification,helpful hints or additional information) when > answering newbies' questions > about SPSS. That would help them learn to find their own answers > for the > stuff that they should soon learn to see as simple. > > I'm sure that the people who are answering questions on this list are > generally busier than the ones who are trying to economize their > time, at > our expense, by not reading the manual and experimenting. We > don't want to > carry this as far as the OpenBSD mailing lists have, but I do > think it's > appropriate to economize our time (both active answerers and > lurkers time) > by gently, politely helping people to learn, and gently, politely, > not spoon > feeding them. > > The other problem I mentioned, of statistical ignorance, is a much > deeperand more widespread problem. The space shuttle Challenger > was launched on a > cold morning, and crashed, in part because the people (all experts > in their > fields) who analyzed o-ring failure data had no statistical > training. I > don't know of any implement-able solution to this problem, but I > am sure > that GUI stats packages exacerbate it. > > Nels > > -----Original Message----- > From: SPSSX(r) Discussion [mailto:SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On > Behalf Of > Michael Solorza > Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 9:26 AM > To: SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU > Subject: The purpose of this list. . . > > > The eternal debate that surrounds ANY listserv community. .. what is > appropriate to post and what isn't? I understand where the author > of the > following is coming from. . . Unfortunately, if taken the wrong > way, this > type of post paints the picture that this list is designed only > for the > "expert" users of SPSS and only for the "experts" in statistics. . > . And > the rest of us should just sit back, be quiet, and watch the > adults do > their business. . . > > Sorry, but that's what academic journals are for. Listservs like > this were > created for -- and should continue to serve -- the "average" user > that may > not be an elite user of SPSS (whatever that means). Sniffing our > noses at > people -- like me -- who use GUI a majority of the time vs. scripting > doesn't do any good. .. > > Elitist attitudes like this only continue to deepen the chasm that > existsbetween those people who truly are experts in their field > and those of us > who could stand to learn a thing or two by just being around folks > likethis. . . I've always had the humble opinion that knowledge > should be > shared, not hoarded by the few so they could lord over the "less" > deserving. . . My 2 cents. > > >Thanks for saying what needed to be said. Too many questions > here could > >have been solved by a glance at the manual. Too many more show > that GUI > >statistics packages provide the dangerously wrong illusion that > anyone can > >correctly analyze data, no matter how little they know. > > > > *************************** > Michael A. Solorza > Graduate Housing Analyst > UC Irvine > 500 Housing Administrative Services > Irvine, CA 92697-3250 > > (949) 824-2490 (office) > (949) 824- 4181 (fax) > **************************** >

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