Statistics How To

How to Make an SPSS Scatter Plot

Probability and Statistics Index > SPSS Statistics > How to Make an SPSS Scatter Plot

A scatter plot is a type of graph that shows a relationship between two variables. Scatter plots are drawn on an x-y coordinate system, also called a Cartesian plane. IBM SPSS Statistics has several different options for scatter plots: Simple Scatter, Matrix Scatter, Simple Dot, Overlay Scatter and 3D Scatter. Which type of scatter plot you choose depends mostly upon how many variables you want to plot:

  • A Simple Scatter Plot plots one variable against another.
  • A Matrix Scatter Plot plots all possible combinations of two or more numeric variables against each other
  • A Simple Dot Plot plots one categorical variable or one continuous variable.
  • An Overlay Scatterplot plots two or more pairs of variables.
  • 3D Scatterplots are 3-Dimensional plots of three numeric variables.

Watch the video to learn How to Make an SPSS Scatter Plot with the Chart Builder, or read below for instructions on how to create one with the Legacy Dialog menu:

How to Make an SPSS Scatter Plot with the Legacy Dialog menu

Step 1: Click “Graphs,” then mouse over “Legacy Dialogs” then click “Scatter/Dot”.
How to Make an SPSS Scatter Plot 2
Step 2: Choose a type of Scatter Plot. For this example, click “Simple Scatter.”
Step 3: Click the “Define” button to open the “Simple Scatterplot” window.
Step 4: Click on the variable you want to display on the Y-axis and then click the arrow to the left of the “Y-Axis” selection box.spss scatter plot 2
Step 4: Click on the variable you want to display on the X-axis and then click the arrow to the left of the “X-Axis” selection box. Click “OK” to produce the scatterplot.
spss scatter plot 3
That’s it!

Tip: You don’t have to select value labels by, but if you do, the value labels are used as point labels for the scatter plot. If you don’t select a variable to label cases by, outliers and extremes can be labeled with case numbers.

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If you prefer an online interactive environment to learn R and statistics, this free R Tutorial by Datacamp is a great way to get started. If you're are somewhat comfortable with R and are interested in going deeper into Statistics, try this Statistics with R track.

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How to Make an SPSS Scatter Plot was last modified: November 13th, 2017 by Stephanie Glen