I believe that religions formed to provide a system of classification for behaviors. Following a given religion allowed for right vs. wrong, or good vs. bad. In any religion, there are behaviors that you are expected to follow, much as in psychology, there are behaviors that are described as being normal. The same follows for not following religious conscripts, which, if you were viewing from a current psychological standpoint, would be considered abnormal behavior. Both religion and psychology attempt to define why people are the way they are, as well as how they should be.
I think religion was one of the first forms of psychology, before people knew about things such as chemical imbalances and brain lesions. If someone was bad or mean, it was because the devil was in them. If someone was handicapped or extremely talented, it was often said that they were touched by god.
Religion was the world's first form of psychology, because it caused people to examine their thought process and beliefs. Religion gave the mental diagnosis of individuals, similar to the way psychology does today. The way people think is often dictated by their religious beliefs and doctrine. The power of religion exists because of its mental effects on people.
Both psychology and religion are simply paradigms with which to make meaning of experience. They have different beliefs, structures, scriptures (DSM/Holy books), authority figures (Priest/Professor), notions of cosmology, etc, etc....but ultimately they both have similar objectives, to give a framework to understand mans place in the universe and the workings of his inner world and how that inner world effects the outer.
Religion in some form has existed since the first caveman felt fear of things he could not understand. Someone in that cave "explained" what/who was really making it thunder, lightning, and creating earthquakes. One of the basic definitions of psychology is "study of the soul". It seems only reasonable to say that the first practitioners of this "study of the soul" were religious leaders. Psychology attempts to bring comfort to the troubled mind/soul. Religion does the same. Religion, however, differs in method from psychology in one important way. Religion provides comfort through an outside source: god, spirits, angels and goddesses. The underlying causes of discomfort or disease of the individual's mind/soul lie in problems in the relationship between the individual and god, the spirits, angels and goddesses. Generally, the "solution" to this discomfort or disease is renewal of faith, and belief in whatever higher power the religious advocate represents to be the "true" belief. Psychology has moved to believing the source of the discomfort, unhappiness or disease of the mind/soul lies within the individual, rather than in that relationship with some higher being or spirit. Psychology has taken what religion started and used it to empower the individual.
I believe that religion was the first form of psychology because of the guidelines it gave people for how to live their lives. Also, leaders of religious movements were able to counsel their followers when they had emotional problems that they needed to discuss with someone with authority. Organized religions were the first place people came together with common spiritual beliefs that could comfort them in times of trouble and celebrate with them when something good happened. When people have psychological problems, it is often very helpful to belong to a peer group that can give support.
I believe that religion is psychology. Many things stand independent of the human mind, and our perceptions of them. I think that God (or gods for ancient and pagan peoples) exists independently of us, and that religion is our human attempt to know this reality, even if that attempt at times seems to reveal more about us.
Mankind needed religion to create a sense of order and goals that would unify mankind. I think this is why religion came into being, a result of psychology experiments to help human beings rid of violence amongst each other and have a common goal.
Communities were often held together by religion, whether it was constructing a small church or dancing around a campfire. Religion gives us all of the answers that most humans ponder over, and it does so while also giving our lives a sense of purpose. Oh, and by the way, has something inexplicably bad happen to you? Well, here's a great way to deal with the psychological stress: not only is this tragedy part of a greater plan, but your loved one may be in a paradise right now. Feel better yet?
Religion was created to answer the unknowns that faced early man. A part of Psychology attempts to answer the unknowns of how man perceives the world around him. Many of the unknowns faced by early man were related to the relationship between his mind and the unknown world around him. Religion was created to answer the questions formed by this relationship. God was the cause and effect of everything people didn't understand.
Where religion does teach one how they should or should not behave, it does not deal with the inner workings of an individual. Religion does not analyze the behavior of a person. It only states what a person should or should not do. Psychology is not even in the same ballpark. Psychology does not care whether a person has good values or not. Psychology compares people to the norm of society to determine whether a person is mentally healthy or not. From there they determine the best course of action to "fix" a person so that they can become more like the norm of society.
But it's awfully cute how modern people sit back and judge the value of the people and ideas of the past, largely without knowing much at all about them. The question doesn't even make sense the way it is worded. Now, do people take religious notions and sentiments and use them for 'control of the masses'. Undoubtedly. It does not follow, however, that all religion is a complete sham designed for this reason.
If you look at any religion, there are some basic trends that are the same. Religion gives a general moral code of conduct, psychology does not. Psychology is a study of personality and beliefs, and religion is giving a person a guideline to follow. It is two different things, not the same. Psychology came later.
Religion is the study and collection of spiritual belief systems by culture, while psychology is a study of human behavior and the functions of the mind. While religion and philosophy may be considered forms of human control, psychology is not. Though, it is useful in determining why religion makes people behave the ways they do.
Psychology seeks to understand the human mind; religion sought to understand our environment and circumstances. Religion is a more modern system of myths that explain our existence, and the meaning of our lives. I'm disturbed that 73% of the users on this site agree with this notion.
Psychology is a social science and explains how the mind works and the way humans develop and behave throughout life. Religion is more of a philosophy. It provides a way life for many individuals. It also often determines what is right or wrong for many people. Yes, it may affect the way people think, but it is not a complete explanation.
I personally believe that religion is made to govern the psychology of individuals & a society. Religion cannot be the first form of psychology.
Psychology starts to build in every human's mind individually right from the birth.
The theory of religion came way after life on earth. Psychology start when the first people on the earth became.