I actually written an article about this issue recently. It’s common, especially for beginners in UX, to assume things because we usually choose our first project’s topics based on our interests.
We tend to take things for granted because we assume that our knowledge of the topic allows us to do this. This may derail the project and make us miss important opportunities.
My approach early on was such, that in the initial brainstorming part of my research, I looked for such assumptions and came up with reversed versions of them.
This allowed me to look at the two extremes of an assumption and include appropriate questions in my surveys.
The results of my surveys formed a scale of approaches real users take. The results either validated my assumptions, or in many cases, they showed me that what I think and how I do things is not necessarily the way others do it.
I think this is an easy to apply and very useful tool in any UX researcher’s arsenal.