A friend and I were discussing dating this weekend (what else is new) and we touched on the topic of dating for a "long" period of time (and yes, I know that "long" is a relative term - for my purposes, I will say that a "long" time to date someone is spending three months or upwards dating one person steadily). She posited that doing thorough research on the person eliminates the need to date for longer than, say, a month and a half at most, because if you do a lot of intensive research on the person and find out how they react/behave in different situations, you don't need to experience those situations with said person to see what they do.
On the other side of the coin, I posited that even good research can't really tell you what truly happens when the person encounters situation x, and as such, it's probably a better idea to date longer, so that you can see them in many different situations and experiences and see first-hand how they behave, and make a more informed decision about whether or not you want this person to be your spouse.
I guess a lot of it comes down to trust - how much do you trust the references to give you accurate information that would cancel out the need to experience situations with the person first-hand.
I don't know, though . . . something about her method seems a little off to me.