When you hear these two words, what comes up to your mind? Do you see religiosity and psychology as two different poles or two intertwine subjects? Which one is considered as scientific knowledge? These two different subjects have a unique relationship. Sometimes they support and complete each other, while sometimes they seem to attack one another to justify themselves.

       There are four different divisions of psychology. They are psychoanalysis, behaviorism, humanism and transpersonal psychology. Psychoanalysis was pioneered by Sigmund Freud. The main psychological knowledge was found in his researches. According to Freud, the human psychological state consists of id, ego, superego and preconscious, subconscious and unconscious. He also declared that human current personality and behaviors are formed by their childhood. Meanwhile, behaviorism was pioneered by Ivan Pavlov at the end of the 19th century. He perceived human as a machine (homo mechanicus) that their behaviors can be controlled by conditioning. His prominent experiment towards a dog implied the study that creatures’ actions can happen after given the conditioned stimulus. However, there was a new psychology pioneer who criticized Freud conclusion. Abraham Maslow, the founder of hierarchy human needs and humanism, disagree psychoanalysis and behaviorism principles about human. He initiated a new division which exposes the positivity of humans as the mentally healthy creatures. He believes even though there is a mental ill inward someone, there is another healthy mental state. Ultimately, transpersonal psychology was prominently established by some pioneers, such as C.G. Jung, Victor Frankl and William James. Transpersonal psychology integrates concepts, theories and psychological methods with spiritual beliefs from diverse cultures and religions. It emphasizes the spiritual aspects or transcendental of humans.

          Many experts work on these two big fields. They relate the impact of spiritual practice with mental health. Is it wrong? Of course not! You always can relate these topics in everyday life. However, we suppose to know the limit, there are still boundaries between religiosity and psychological science. It relates to our professionalism at work. Psychology is merely not just about scientific knowledge with a scrutiny of empirical data. It could be applied on a daily basis, so does religiosity. Here are five differences between these two subjects:

Religiosity is one of the psychology divisions. Psychology is a scientific knowledge that learns about human behaviors. Religion is guidance and direction to human’s life. Psychologically, we can see people’s behaviors while applying their religiosity rituals. Nonetheless, religiosity and psychology are both merely implied as personal experiences.

✋Religiosity has general rules over nations, psychology has social desirability bias. For all of the social science researches, social desirability bias might happen due to the tendency of respondents’ answer to the questions in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others. Meanwhile, spirituality has general exposure regarding personal experience.

🙏 Religiosity level can be measured through their rituals, as behavioral actions. How do you know people’s faith growth in facing problems? Researchers reveal through the respondents’ actions when they merely see problems as a part of their lives matter. Faith growth can be seen through measurable-behavioral actions.

👫Religiosity has absolute roles and rules about gender, psychology respect an individual’s choice. It depends on the psychologists’ professionalism. When we work in an LGBT resource center, we obviously discern the clients as the utterly unique human beings. Thus, we should highly respect, accept and understand their values. Our biggest concern is to help them in finding their meaning of life while embracing the consequences, responsibilities and mental function. By this, we realize that religiosity has absolute rules to direct human actions to the followers’ daily actions. Vividly, there is something much more important. Psychology is a foremost of respectful everyone’s diversity, uniqueness and even identity preference. We just need to follow our inner heart voice in order to work on something and follow our critical principal.

What do you think of religiosity and psychology? Do you want to work in the ‘psychology of religion’ field? Before you make a decision, take time to ask your heart and mind. Working towards your heart’s calling will be the best decision in life. At the end of the day, as far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere beingCarl Jung.