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Abstract

College physics professors, researchers, and teachers were asked to rate the importance to physics students of different intellectual abilities. These abilities were selected from J. P. Guilford's Structure-of-Intellect model of intelligence and presented on a 65-item questionnaire. Analysis of the responses found that four general intellectual factors were described. They were identified as abilities related to visualization, mathematics, logic, and problem solving. The variations of these factors' importance was examined for two different student subgroups, students who are studying to be physicists and students who are studying physics to be scientifically aware laymen. Variations between two respondent subgroups, physicists who are primarily engaged in research and physicists who are primarily engaged in teaching, were also explored.