I have heard it said (somewhere on these forums, I do believe) that type descriptions tend to be based on a younger version of a person with those preferences. Does anyone know if this is in fact the case?
In some ways it would make a lot of sense; the preferences in a young adult would be more in their "raw state," without the possible confusion that natural maturity and type development (along with the conscious strengthening of lesser-used functions) might bring to the determination of a best-fit description. That is to say, a more balanced, mellow, and mature ESTP (or any type) may be more difficult to distinctly describe in an archetypal way than a 21-year-old ESTP, where the lines of temperament are drawn more boldly. An older person has those lines, yet they are more nuanced and perhaps more blended around the edges.
However, this may make for a bit of difficulty when an older person, trying to determine their best-fit type, is presented with type descriptions that would have fit them better at age twenty than at age forty-five. I cringe reading some ENFP descriptions that delineate certain faults toward which ENFPs are uniquely inclined, as I recognize some of those faults in my younger self (and still feel echoes of the associated criticism). Yet, since as the years go by I have worked quite hard (and do yet work) to counter those natural weaknesses, I would certainly hesitate to point an aquaintance toward an ENFP profile so they can learn more about me, as they may be inclined to attribute to me (and others sharing ENFP preferences) all the described characteristics and arrive at a snapshot of me taken many years past and not at the person they see in front of them this day.