Critical thinking, on the most basic level is thinking for one’s self. We live in a world divided between dogmatism and skepticism. Dogmatics accept what they are told as true without challenge. Skeptics reject everything. A critical thinker is neither a dogmatic, nor a skeptic. Critical thinkers think for themselves.
The first step of critical thinking is gathering as much information as possible. A critical thinker is interested in all viewpoints of a subject, reserving judgement until as much information is gathered as possible.
It takes courage to be a critical thinker. Humans by nature divide themselves into one camp or another, but a critical thinker’s views may be unique.