Math 221 – Principles of Statistics

Creating Boxplots in SPSS



Boxplots are for quantitative data. A boxplot is just a picture of the five-number summary.


SPSS also offers boxplots in the "Explore" tool.


1) Open a data file (in .sav or .por format) or type your data in.


2) In either the Data Editor window or the Output Viewer window, click on the “Graphs" menu and then on "Boxplot..."


3) Select "Simple" and click "Define."


4) Select the variable you would like to plot. Click on the little arrow next to "Variable." This will move the variable into the "Variable" box.


5) If you would like to add a title to your plot, click the "Titles..." button. A new dialog box appears. Enter any titles or subtitles you want to use, and click "Continue..."


6) Click "OK."  The boxplot appears in the Output Viewer. Notice that any outliers are represented by little circles, and extreme outliers are represented by little stars. The numbers next to the outliers are their case numbers, which allows you to look them up in the Data Viewer, if you like.




David E. Brown


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