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Mann-Whitney U test in SPSS (cont...)


Interpreting and reporting: Getting started

If you have been following this guide from the very beginning, you'll know that how you interpret your results after running a Mann-Whitney U test depends on whether your two distributions have a similar shape (i.e., whether the distributions of the two groups of your independent variable have a similar shape). However, if you haven't been following the guide and are unaware of this critical assumption of the Mann-Whitney U test, we suggest reading up on the characteristics of the Mann-Whitney U test on page 2 first.

What SPSS output you have to interpret from the Mann-Whitney U test will also depend on whether you ran the legacy procedure or new procedure in SPSS to carry out the Mann-Whitney U test (the procedures we outlined in the Procedures section). Therefore, in the four pages that follow, we show you how to interpret your results based on these two criteria: (a) whether your two distributions had a similar shape; and (b) whether you ran the legacy procedure or the new procedure in SPSS.

If you are not a subscriber to the site, pages 17 to 20 will not be available to you. However, you can access these pages, as well as all of our 41 SPSS guides by subscribing here.

1Introduction 2Assumptions 3Problems solved 4Flowchart 5Example used in this guide 6Setting up your data
(continuous dependent variable)
7Setting up your data
(ordinal dependent variable)
8Introduction to the procedure 9Mann-Whitney U test procedure
(new procedure)
10Mann-Whitney U test procedure
(legacy procedure)
11Generating medians 12Introduction to the distributional assumption 13Generating a population pyramid
(legacy procedure)
14Comparing distributional shapes
(legacy procedure)
15Comparing distributional shapes
(legacy procedure)
16Interpreting & reporting:
Getting started
17Comparison of medians
(new procedure)
18Comparison of distributions
(new procedure)
19Comparison of medians
(legacy procedure)
20Comparison of distributions
(legacy procedure)