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Correlate two multi-item scales


I have two sets of items on a survey, each set has four items.
IV       Set 1:   U1, U2, U3, U4
DV     Set 2:    A1, A2, A3, A4

All items are 5 point Likert scales  1,2,3,4,5

How can I correlate the effect the independent variable (Set1) has on the dependent variable (Set2).  I have access to SPSS.

1 Solution
If you're comfortable treating these variables as interval-level measures (pretty common with Likert-type measures), you'll want to calculate scale means first.  This is by selecting Compute in the menu (I believe it's either the Data or Transform menu).  

For each scale, you'll type the name of the new variable in the box to the left (for example, "IV"), and on the right, a formula.  For the IV, you'd enter:

Repeat for the DV, so that DV will become:

Next, Analyze>Bivariate>Correlate.  Move your two variables to the right and click OK to run the analysis.
taborrgAuthor Commented:
I used Transform -> Compute Variable. The new variable was the sum of the individual variables.

I will post a follow up question about correlating Likert scale when there are 4 items in one set, and 6 items in the other set.

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