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Re: st: Re: Your paper on Stata,SAS and SPSS


From   Richard Williams <richardwilliams.ndu@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu, statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Re: Your paper on Stata,SAS and SPSS
Date   Tue, 10 Aug 2010 22:19:20 -0400

At 11:43 AM 8/10/2010, Alan Acock wrote:
John Hall indicates that with the limited math/statistics background of his students, the "syntax examples I have seen in Stata, . . . would easily put (them) off." I'm not sure what examples John has seen. Often those shared on statalist are technical and not appropriate to beginning students. If you think about a basic introductory research courses in the social sciences, the actual Stata commands that would be relevant are vastly simpler than those used in SPSS or SAS. For SPSS readers who don't appreciate this, here are a few
examples they might compare to the lengthy syntax needed by SPSS

I first used SPSS 30+ years ago -- and I still either cut and paste syntax, or use the menus, when writing SPSS programs. I can't remember the syntax to most SPSS estimation commands, partly because the program is so wildly and unnecessarily inconsistent across modules. By way of contrast, I hardly ever use the menus in Stata for estimation commands (although I might use the help files to check out options, especially for post-estimation commands). I suppose SPSS is good in that you never have to learn any syntax, but writing syntax in Stata is far quicker, at least for the most commonly used commands.


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Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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