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Statistical & Qualitative Data Analysis Software: About SPSS Statistics and Amos

About IBM SPSS Statistics and IBM SPSS Amos software; links to SPSS tutorials and resources.

About IBM SPSS Statistics

What is SPSS Statistics?

SPSS Statistics is a software program for statistical data analysis. Commands can be executed using the menu system or using command syntax. It is available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

Note: SPSS originally stood for "Software Package for Social Sciences". SPSS Statistics has also gone by the name PASW Statistics, which stood for "Predictive Analytics Software".

Why use SPSS?

  • Intuitive drop-down menu system is easy to learn for beginners.
  • Syntax adds flexibility, customization, and automation options.
  • Supported on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems.
  • Widely used in the social sciences.

What file types are specifically associated with SPSS?

  • *.sav - An SPSS data file. Contains the raw data and any associated labels and type definitions.
  • *.sps - An SPSS syntax file. Allows you to execute a specific set of commands on a chosen data file.
  • *.spv - A 'viewer' file that was created in SPSS version 16 or later. Displays all of the logs and the output created during an SPSS session.
  • *.spo - A 'viewer' file that was created in SPSS version 15 or earlier. Displays all of the logs and the output created during an SPSS session.
  • *.jnl - A 'journal' file. Records all syntax executed during an SPSS session.

Note: Viewer files with *.spo extensions were created in SPSS Statistics version 15 or earlier. These files can not be opened in SPSS Statistics versions 16 and later.

What version of SPSS Statistics does Kent State currently use?

As of June 2023, Kent State has licenses for SPSS Statistics Standard versions 27 through 29 for Windows and and Mac.

About IBM SPSS Amos

What is SPSS Amos?

IBM SPSS Amos is a specialized statistical software program that can fit a class of statistical models called structural equation models (SEM). Unlike SPSS Statistics, SPSS Amos is only available for the Windows operating system.

Do I need to install SPSS Statistics in order to use SPSS Amos?

SPSS Amos is a "standalone" program that can be installed and used with or without an installation of SPSS Statistics.

However, if you plan to use SPSS Amos to fit structural equation models, it is useful to have access to SPSS Statistics. SPSS Amos can read data files saved in SPSS's proprietary *.sav format, but Amos itself does not have the ability to perform common data cleaning tasks that may be necessary to prepare your data for analysis (such as filtering observations, reverse-coding items, centering variables, computing interaction terms, etc.)

What file types are specifically associated with SPSS Amos?

  • *.amw - An Amos model file, which contains the model diagram.

What version of SPSS Amos does Kent State currently use?

As of June 2023, Kent State has licenses for SPSS Amos versions 27 through 29. SPSS Amos is only available for Windows.

How can I access SPSS Statistics and SPSS Amos?

Kent State University maintains a university-wide, limited seat license for SPSS Statistics Standard and SPSS Amos. These programs can be installed on any university-owned computer at no charge. SPSS licenses must be renewed yearly, typically in August. SPSS Statistics is compatible with Windows and Mac and operating systems, but SPSS Amos is only compatible with Windows. (Note for Linux users: Support for the Linux platform has been dropped as of the SPSS Statistics v28 release. The last version of SPSS Statistics to support Linux is SPSS Statistics v27.)

SPSS Statistics and SPSS Amos are separate programs. They must be installed separately, and their licenses must be renewed separately. Renewing your SPSS Statistics license will not automatically renew your SPSS Amos license (and vice versa).

Currently, Kent State's licensing agreement only permits SPSS products to be used for teaching and research purposes. If you need to use SPSS for any reason outside of teaching or research, please contact the Division of Information Technology.

University-Owned Computers

Please contact your local support person to receive a copy of the software or to renew your existing license.

Personally-Owned Computers


Faculty who wish to install SPSS Statistics or SPSS Amos on their personally owned computers may purchase an educational license through Note that faculty and staff wishing to purchase Amos this way are only able to purchase it in a bundle with SPSS Statistics.

Currently enrolled students

Students can purchase the SPSS Statistics or SPSS Amos GradPacks at

To determine which edition of the GradPack to purchase, please consult with your instructor.

Public Computers on Campus

Most public computer labs on campus have SPSS installed. Information Technology has a list of public computer lab locations and hours at the Kent campus.

Learn SPSS

Official Support from IBM

Recommended Tutorials

Recommended Books

All books and ebooks on this list are available through KentLINK or OhioLINK.