Given two variables A and B with 35 random data points (generated with Excel in the range of 0 to 1), we applied Analyse -> Nonparametric Tests -> Legacy Dialogs -> 2 connected Samples in SPSS and marked "Wilcoxon" as test, which should perform the the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. All over the internet you find examples of the test reporting a "Z" value. However, our report is


U: -1.032$_b$

Asymp. Sig. (2-sided): .302

a: Wilcoxon-Test b: based on negative ranks

Why does the test not report a "Z" and how should we modify to obtain a "Z" rather than a "U"?

EDIT: Here's what we did and the output, and the original data is in my Google Drive.

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  • $\begingroup$ What SPSS version are you using? My version 22 displays Z. But in any case you can look into SPSS algorithms (in Help) to find out how U and Z are connected. $\endgroup$
    – ttnphns
    Jul 16, 2015 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ It is SPSS version 22. And sadly enough, I was not able to find any mention of U in the help concerning the Wilcoxon signed Rank Test. $\endgroup$
    – Skrodde
    Jul 16, 2015 at 14:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I see. Sorry for saying about U. U pertains to Mann-Whitney test. Well, back to your problem. My version is patched Win 64bit. Visit IBM SPSS site to download patches. The "U" might probably be a lapse in the output and being really meant is Z. Can you post a small data snippet and the result in your question so that I could compare your and my figures? $\endgroup$
    – ttnphns
    Jul 16, 2015 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ I added a link to the data, as well as screenshots of our procedure and a screenshot of the output to the original post. Thank you for the efforts you put into this! $\endgroup$
    – Skrodde
    Jul 17, 2015 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, your result is correct. But "U" is a typo. My SPSS displays it as "Z". One reason may be, as I supposed, that my version is patched while yours probably not. Another reason is that the typo is only in your language of output. Try to go to Edit-Options and set to English output: will the typo persist? $\endgroup$
    – ttnphns
    Jul 17, 2015 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


Thanks to the suggestion of ttnphns, we were able to detect the error. It is, as a matter of fact, the German SPSS settings. Switching to English, the test immediately showed a Z value. Will now try to see whether patching the software in the German version helps.


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