Recently, we've discussed how the US public is confused about some of the basic factual aspects of climate change, from the clear indications that temperatures are rising to the fact that there's very little disagreement within the scientific community about the basic outlines of anthropogenic climate change. Now, a study suggests that there's a causal relationship between the latter and the former: people who don't understand how broad the scientific agreement is are less likely to accept what the scientists are agreeing upon.
On its face, this sounds like one of those "it took a study to show this?" moments. After all, there's a lot of literature showing that most people can't or don't understand issues in detail, and therefore they use some sort of mental shortcut to reach conclusions. In the case of scientific information, this will typically involve accepting what scientists are saying; many surveys place scientists as one of the most trusted professions in the nation.