SPSS Exercises

1. In this exercise, you will use Mill’s method of agreement to examine international differences in the role of labor unions. For this cross-sectional comparative analysis, you will use the ISSP data set on Work Orientations III 2005. Type in the following URL: http://www.jdsurvey.net/jds/jdsurveyAnalisis.jsp?ES_COL=127&Idioma=I&Sec..., which contains results of an international survey involving respondents in more than 25 countries.

a. First, go to the Work Orientations III 2005 website and select three countries of interest. State a reason for choosing these three countries. State a hypothesis specifying which countries you expect to be relatively supportive of labor unions and which countries you expect to be relatively unsupportive of labor unions. Explain your reasoning.

b. Once you have selected (checked) the countries you would like to compare, click on “Confirm selection” in the top left corner. Then, scroll down the list of questions and click on V25 (Without trade unions the working conditions of employees would be much worse than they are) or some other question of interest. Now click “NEXT” and then choose “Cross-tabs.”

c. Now review the crosstab of V25 (or whatever variable you selected) by country (country should be the column variable, and the table should show column percents). (It may also be useful to explore the “graphs” tab, which provides a visual comparison.) See if on this basis you can develop a tentative explanation of international variation in support for labor unions using Mill’s method of agreement. You might also want to explore the question V24 (“Trade unions are very important for the job security of employees”) to further compare international variation.

d. Discuss the possible weaknesses in the type of explanation you have constructed, following John Stuart Mill. Propose a different approach for a comparative historical analysis.

2. How do the attitudes of immigrants to the United States compare with those of people born in the United States? Use the GSS2016 or GSS2016x or GSS2016x_reduced file and request the cross-tabulations (in percentage form) of POLVIEWS3, BIBLE, SPKATH by COHORTS (with COHORTS as the column variable). Inspect the output. Describe the similarities and differences you have found.

3. Because the GSS file is cross-sectional, we cannot use it to conduct historical research. However, we can develop some interesting historical questions by examining differences in the attitudes of Americans in different birth cohorts.

a. Inspect the distributions of the same set of variables. Would you expect any of these attitudes and behaviors to have changed over the 20th century? State your expectations in the form of hypotheses.

b. Request a cross-tabulation of these variables by birth COHORTS. What appear to be the differences between the cohorts? Which differences do you think result from historical change, and which do you think result from the aging process? Which attitudes and behaviors would you expect to still differentiate the baby boom generation and the post-Vietnam generation in 20 years?