Radiation has the characteristics of being silent, colorless, odorless, invisible, and intangible. The public is deeply fearful and worried about radiation. Radiation has become “to mention the wolf’s name is to see the name”. Carrying out radiation science popularization is an effective way to crack the public’s fear. Research on public cognition of radiation is the basis of science popularization. Social psychology is a branch of psychology that studies public behavior dominated by psychology. Using social psychology can effectively analyze the psychology of public radiation cognition and improve the pertinence and effectiveness of science popularization. This paper investigates the current situation of public radiation cognition, and analyzes the existing problems of radiation cognition from the perspective of social psychology. It mainly includes that the public’s first impression of radiation is wrong, the public’s cognition of radiation is one-sided, ignoring the public’s needs, underestimating the public’s sense of resistance to radiation, underestimating the influence of wrong information, etc. In view of the above problems, this paper puts forward the methods to strengthen the pertinence and effectiveness of radiation cognition from the aspects of enhancing the effect of persuasion, paying attention to public needs, early public participation in radiation activities and reducing the impact of wrong information, so as to provide reference for radiation science popularization.

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