Critical thinking is defined as active use of a person's reasoning ability to identify and analyze arguments, ideas and situations to reach rational conclusions or decisions. Critical thinking also involves developing reliable evaluations before believing something.
Critical thinking is the process of synthesizing gathered information to decide on a course of action. About.com argues that in order to think critically, a person should be open minded and able to differentiate between reason and emotion. The process involves reflective thinking, problem solving, and arguing from knowledge or evidence. Successful critical thinking requires skills such as observation, evaluation, analysis, interpretation and inference, and it has a place in all academic disciplines and professional fields.