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5.2.2 Dealing with suspicious data

If possible, suspect data should be checked and re-measured. However, this may not always be feasible, in which case the researcher may decide to disregard these values. PSPP has a feature whereby data can assume the special value ‘SYSMIS’, and will be disregarded in future analysis. See Missing Observations. You can set the two suspect values to the ‘SYSMIS’ value using the RECODE command.

PSPP> recode height (179 = SYSMIS).
PSPP> recode weight (LOWEST THRU 0 = SYSMIS).

The first command says that for any observation which has a height value of 179, that value should be changed to the SYSMIS value. The second command says that any weight values of zero or less should be changed to SYSMIS. From now on, they will be ignored in analysis. For detailed information about the RECODE command see RECODE.

If you now re-run the DESCRIPTIVES or EXAMINE commands in Example 5.2 and Example 5.3 you will see a data summary with more plausible parameters. You will also notice that the data summaries indicate the two missing values.