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Collapse Categories of Categorical Variable

Often analysts want to collapse categories of a categorical variable. For example, a seven category race variable might be collapsed to three categories, White, African American, and Other. This option facilitates such operations, as well as allowing users to identify missing value codes. When you select this option, the following dialog box appears:

Variable Collapse Categories

In the list box on the bottom part of the dialog box, two columns of codes appear: the original code, and a new default recoding. The new coding appears in the left most column (that would be your left...). To change codes, click on the new code and enter the code that you would like to replace it with.

  • If you associate the same new code with two or more original codes these categories will be collapsed together.
  • To change a value to "missing" click on the new code, and then click somewhere else without entering a new code. Missing values are automatically excluded from most analyses.

You have the choice of modifying the original variable (just select the checkbox in the top left), or creating a new variable. If you are not modifying the original variable you must enter a name (up to seven characters) for the new variable.

By default, AM will automaticaly generate value labels to remind you of the mapping between the original variable and the new coding. Unchecking the checkbox (Auto-Generate Value Labels) prevents AM from creating these labels.