Last modified on 14 March 2012, at 23:44

Using SPSS and PASW/Recoding Variables: from scale to category

Coding from Continuous to Discrete Values in SPSS/PAWSEdit

It is not uncommon to transform a continuous variable (like income) to an ordinal using one of SPSS/PAWS' recode routines. In these cases, new users sometimes have difficulty expressing the floor (lower bound) and ceiling (upper bound) values appropriately. Here is the recommended system:

  1. Choose the lowest through value option and give this the lowest code
  2. Repeat
    1. choose the floor for a category and enter this value in the first text input box of the range through section of the dialog. This value is greater than and any data at this value will be in the band below.
    2. choose the ceiling for the category and enter this in the second text input box of the range through section of the dialog. This value is upto and including and any data at this value will be included in this band.
  3. Choose the highest through value option and gives this the code for your highest ranked band.

So, at each boundary, you specify the upper bound of one level with the same value as the lower bound of the next.