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Date:         Fri, 9 Sep 2005 20:49:13 -0400
Reply-To:     Richard Ristow <>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Richard Ristow <>
Subject:      Re: Combining binary columns into a single column
Comments: To: Margaret MacDougall <>
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

(I've returned to the original subject line so my E-mail program will 'thread' the exchange correctly.)

At 04:53 AM 9/9/2005, Margaret MacDougall wrote:

>Yesterday, I posted the query, [how to] code the pairs forthcoming >from two >'binary columns' into a single column after the following fashion: > >0,0-->1 >0,1-->2 >1,0-->3 >1,1-->4 >1,blank-->blank >blank,1-->blank >blank,blank-->blank

It looks like everybody understood what you wanted to do. Nevertheless, it's better not to speak of a 'blank' value for a numeric variable. Numeric quantities cannot be 'blank'. The value most analogous is "system-missing", SYSMIS for short, which is probably what your "blanks" are.

>I noticed that I could define a function in SPSS using the Compute >option from the transorm menu which solves my problem. Perhaps other >users will find this useful and so I offer the solution below: > >DEFINE THE FUNCTION 'COMPOSITE' WITH VALUES GIVEN BY: >COMPOSITE(c1CELL,c2CELL)=2^c1CELL*3^c2CELL, > >where c1CELL and c2CELL are corresponding entries in the first and >second column, respectively. [THIS MAPS THE ORIGINAL PAIRS TO 1,3,2,6, >RATHER THAN 1,2,3,4 BUT THIS GIVES A 4-VALUED COLUMN WHICH SUFFICES >FOR MY NEEDS.]

Good. But if you wanted the exact coding you specified, then try (though this is untested),


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