A simple scatterplot can be used to (a) determine whether a relationship is linear, (b) detect outliers and (c) graphically present a relationship. For example, determining whether a relationship is linear (or not) is an important assumption if you are analysing your data using a Pearson's product-moment correlation, Spearman's rank-order correlation, simple linear regression or multiple regression. If you are analysing your data using an ANCOVA (analysis of covariance), you will need to consider a grouped scatterplot instead (N.B., if you need help creating a grouped scatterplot using SPSS Statistics, we show you how in our enhanced content).
The purpose of this guide is to show you how to create a scatterplot using SPSS Statistics. Before we show you this SPSS Statistics procedure, we introduce you to the example we have used.
A salesman for a large car brand wants to determine whether there is a relationship between an individual's income and the price they pay for a car. The salesman will use this information to determine which cars to offer potential customers in new areas where average income is known. Therefore, the dependent (outcome) variable is Price, and the independent (predictor) variable is Income.
Note: The example is based on the data from our "quick start" linear regression guide. If you want to analyse your data using linear regression, our "quick start" guide will help get you started.
The 7 steps that follow show you how to create a simple scatterplot in SPSS Statistics using the example above (N.B., if you creating a simple scatterplot as part of "linear regression" analysis, you may also need to add a "line of best fit" and "confidence and prediction intervals" to your scatterplot. We show you how to do this, as well as creating a grouped scatterplot using SPSS Statistics, in our enhanced content).
Click Graphs > Chart Builder... on the top menu as shown below:
Published with written permission from SPSS Statistics, IBM Corporation.
You will be presented with the following screen:
Published with written permission from SPSS Statistics, IBM Corporation.
Under the Gallery Tab (), select the Scatter/Dot option and the simple scatterplot icon (top-left icon). Drag-and-drop this icon into the Chart Preview Area (as shown by the in the diagram below).
Published with written permission from SPSS Statistics, IBM Corporation.
You will be presented with the following dialog boxes: Chart Builder and Element Properties. As you can see, the Chart Preview Area has been populated with a template of a simple scatterplot.
Published with written permission from SPSS Statistics, IBM Corporation.
Transfer the independent (predictor) variable, Income, into the "X-Axis?" box, and the dependent (outcome) variable, Price, into the "Y-Axis?" box within the Preview Chart Area by drag-and-dropping the variables from the Variables: box.
Published with written permission from SPSS Statistics, IBM Corporation.
If you wish to change the axis labels, select "X-Axis1 (Point1)" and/or "Y-Axis1 (Point1)" in the Element Properties dialog box and type in the new axis title. Below we demonstrate changing the X-Axis label from "Income" to "Total Income (US Dollars)". Remember to click the button after each label change. Repeat with the Y-Axis by changing the label from "Price" to "Car Purchase Price (US Dollars)", and again, click the button.
Published with written permission from SPSS Statistics, IBM Corporation.
Click the button.
You will be presented with the following simple scatterplot:
Published with written permission from SPSS Statistics, IBM Corporation.
Note: If you need help creating a grouped scatterplot using SPSS Statistics, we show you how in our enhanced content.