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Old 11-26-2008, 04:07 PM
Pauline Pauline is offline
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Default Exclude cases listwise v pairwise in SPSS

I need SPSS help. There is an option to choose to delete cases listwise or pairwise. What's the difference?
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Old 11-30-2008, 04:59 PM
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Phil Phil is offline
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Deleting cases listwise or pairwise are ways of dealing with missing values in data. For example, it may be the case that a respondent of a questionnaire avoids answering a sensitive question, and so you have a missing value. This missing value will be suitably coded in SPSS (eg. 999 = missing).

If you select exclude cases:

Listwise - then if the respondent has any missing value for any variable then the respondent is omitted from all your data analysis.

Pairwise - not as harsh as listwise in that the respondent is dropped only on analyses involving variables that have missing values.

The thing is, is it ok to just drop say a respondent with missing values? It seems sensible to think that if the percentage of missing values in a dataset is small (which is a bit arbitrary) it is ok to drop them. Otherwise you'd better do a missing values analysis (MVA) to see whether or not your missing values occur at random. If missing values do occur at random then it's fine to drop them. If not, you'll have to take this into account in your analysis - several ways of dealing with it.

Last edited by Phil; 04-16-2009 at 08:46 PM.
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