Gisli Guðjónsson's 3 Dimensions of Attribution
Guðjónsson has researched extensively into the attributions offenders make about their criminal acts and the type of offence they commit.
One key piece of research was Gisli Guðjónsson & Ian Bownes (1992) which used the 42-item Guðjónsson Blame Attribution Inventory (Gisli Guðjónsson & Krishna Singh, 1989) to measure the offender's type of crime and the attribution of blame on Guðjónsson's 3 dimensions.
The participants were prisoners serving sentences in Northern Ireland. The first group was composed of 20 who had committed violent offences including homicide and grievous bodily harm. Their mean age was 29. The second group was composed of 40 sex offenders, including rapists, paedophiles and those who had committed sexual assault. Their mean age varied from 41 for the paedophiles to 28 for the other offenders in the group. The third group of 20 had committed property offences such as theft and burglary. Their mean age was 29.
The mean results are in the table below:-
 
Type of Offence
Guilt
Mental Element
External
Violence
8.1
5.3
5.8
Sexual
12.7
5.7
2.4
Property
5.5
4.0
3.0
Total
9.8
5.1
3.4
Guðjónsson & Bownes had anticipated that the sex offenders would show the most remorse, with the property offenders showing least remorse.
When this sample was compared to a similar sample of English prisoners, violent Irish prisoners showed lower mental element, less guilt and higher external attribution scores. However, the basic pattern was similar, suggesting there is a strong consistency in the way categories of offenders attribute blame for their crimes.
Guðjónsson & Bownes suggested that the higher situational attribution for violent crimes amongst the Northern Irish offenders might have been due to 'The Troubles' and the sectarian violence prevalent at the time.