1.8 Changing numeric values

As an example of a common data entry error, and for demonstration purposes, I went in and changed a 19 to a 9. So the correct thing to do here is to change that 9, back to a 19. This is a very good use of the ifelse() function.

depress$age <- ifelse(depress$age==9, 19, depress$age)

The logical statement is depress$age9. Wherever this is true, replace the value of depress$age with 19, wherever this is false then keep the value of depress$age unchanged (by “replacing” the new value with the same old value).

Alternatively, you can change that one value using bracket notation. Here you are specifying that you only want the rows where age==9, and directly assign a value of 19 to those rows.

depress$age[depress$age==9] <- 19

Confirm the recode.

##    Min. 1st Qu.  Median    Mean 3rd Qu.    Max. 
##   18.00   28.00   42.50   44.41   59.00   89.00

Looks like it worked.