The Means Procedure
WHILE THE Crosstabs procedure allows you to identify the frequency of certain types of categorical data (Chapter 8), the Means command allows you to explore certain characteristics of continuous variables within those categories. By way of comparison, a crosstabulation of ethnic by gender would indicate that there were 13 White females, 22 White males, 8 Hispanic females, 6 Hispanic males, and so forth. The Means command allows you to view certain characteristics of continuous variables (such as total points, GPAs, percents) by groups. Thus if you computed total (number of points) for ethnic by gender, you would find that there were 13 White females who scored an average (mean) of 113.12 points, 22 White males who scored a mean of 115.34 points, 8 Hispanic females who scored a mean of 116.79, 6 Hispanic males with a mean of 113.45, and so forth. This information is, of course, presented in tabular format for ease of reading and interpretation. The utility of the Means command for data such as our sample file is several-fold. For a class with more than one section, we might like to see mean scores for each section, or to compare the scores of males with females, or the performance of upper-with lower-division students.