SPSS offers ranges, variances, and standard deviations. It will not provide you with variation ratios, but those are easy to calculate by hand. The process for obtaining measures of dispersion in SPSS is very similar to that for measures of central tendency. The juvenile homicide data set will be used to illustrate SPSS. First, use the Analyze → Descriptive Statistics → Frequencies sequence to produce the main dialog box. Then click the Statistics button in the upper right to produce the box displayed. Select Std. deviation, Variance, and Range to obtain these three statistics.

The solution to the conceptual problem with the variance is to take the square root of the variance. The square root of the variance is the standard deviation. The standard deviation is the mean of the deviation scores. Raw scores have a mean, and so do deviation scores. The former is the distribution mean, and the latter is the standard deviation.

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