Critical thinking and analytical thinking are not the same thing. To clarify the difference between these words, let's look at their etymology (word origins). According to the dictionary, "analyze" means to break apart into essential elements. The opposite of analyze is synthesize, or put together. "Criticize" means to evaluate or make a judgment regarding the merits or faults. The opposite of criticize in one sense would be praise, or in another sense absence of judgment. Simply looking at the two definitions, it is glaringly obvious that two different skill sets are required. So why are they often lumped together? The dictionary definition of this answer would be a stupor of thought, or the condition of not thinking.