Differences and Importance of Being Aware of Assumptions, Values, and Biases

Defining Values, Assumptions, and Biases

Values are an individual’s rules for living and conduct. Every person has an arrangement of profoundly held convictions about how the world must be. For some people, this concept is identified through religion or culture while for others, the concept is related to a watchful idea and reflection on an encounter and it is one of a kind (O’Leary & Tsui, 2019). To the majority, the concept is a collection of the two definitions. Lastly, values frequently concern central issues such as social class, gender that people encounter in their lives.

Assumptions are things that are accepted to be true or certain to happen without any proof. For example, people believe that life is an inalienable right and honor of every individual that should not be taken away, thereby killing someone else is not right and no person has no right to do it. Moreover, assumptions are not regularly addressed since many people know that they exact even though they may not be.

Biases are standards, measures, or qualities that a person holds in high respect. As such, they may influence judgment and capacity to use proficient values when engaged in human and social work services. Additionally, they manage the way individuals experience in their lives and the choices they make. Biases may be characterized by those things or qualities that individuals reflect on being worth.

Differences and Importance of Being Aware of Assumptions, Values, and Biases

When the terms values, assumptions, and biases are used together in human and social services, they mean the standards or measures on which individuals have to base their dealings. However, these terms differ in their meaning and substance. As discussed, values are the guidelines that influence how people live and behave. As opposed to values, assumptions are the level of certainties that people can take for granted given the standards they have accepted. Opposed to values and assumptions, biases are based on an individual’s prejudice to steer toward one way of thinking.

Human beings have personal values, assumptions and biases that may have developed throughout their course of lives. In the field of social work and practice, social workers often work with people who have different views and opinions about particular issues (Kohli, Huber & Faul, 2010). Therefore, as a social worker, being aware of our personal assumptions, values and biases helps us adopt the professional values of the social work industry and prevent us from imposing our ideas on the clients.

Personal Assumptions, Values, and Biases

Some personal values, assumptions, and biases, as they relate to human and social services professional fields, are as follows.


            Personal values are those characteristics and behaviors that guide an individual. Kindness is one of the personal values that I believe is important in the social work practice. To show kindness to people, I often give the clients my time and resources to help them overcome various situations. For instance, clients who may be victims of domestic violence, I do take time to listen to their problems and help them handle such situations. The aim of social work practice is to help people who are facing challenges in their life and to remain professional, I am required to be generous to every client irrespective of the race, gender, or class.


            Personal assumption are those things that a social worker perceives to be true without any proof. In the social work practice, my personal assumption is that every individual has the right to dignity and respect. For instance, I believe that every client needs to be allowed to make his or her decisions related to a particular social work service and social workers should not impose their ideas on a client’s issues. To remain professional in my work, I would avoid allowing my prejudices to interfere with the client’s right to dignity.


            Personal bias is the tendency of a social worker to lean in one direction of thinking. This concept has been major a challenge in social work practice as it has affected the way some social workers perceive and interact with their clients. For example, as a social worker, I believe that women are always emotionally weak to handle various social problems by themselves and that is why many of them attend for social counseling services. However, this is not right in relation to the social work profession. As a social worker, I am required not to have any negative perception about a client as it may affect the worker-patient relationship.

Utilization of Personal Assumptions, Values and Biases to Further Social Change

To further social change in today’s society, I would utilize personal values to help everyone who experiences various social problems. Besides, I would utilize personal assumptions to avoid imposing my prejudices onto the client’s issues. I would also utilize the personal biases to avoid having negative perceptions towards a client as it may affect the social worker-client relationship.




Kohli, H. K., Huber, R., & Faul, A. C. (2010). Historical and theoretical development of culturally competent social work practice. Journal of Teaching in Social Work30(3), 252-271. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/08841233.2010.499091

O’Leary, P., & Tsui, M. S. (2019). The nature of social work: Reflection over humanistic practice. International Social Work62(2), 481–482. doi: 10.1177/0020872819834834