Later, the scientists quizzed the subjects on the people in the videos. In videos where the guy intentionally broke the egg, all of the subjects, regardless of language, were equally good at remembering details of the guy. After all, he's the one who broke the egg. The video was about him, the egg breaker.
Will nothing stop his madness?
But when asked about the people who accidentally broke something, the Spanish and Japanese subjects -- the groups more likely to use "the bed broke" earlier -- couldn't remember them. Since it was an accident, the guy wasn't important. The egg broke.
But us English speakers? We could remember him just fine. To us, the distinction between intentional and accidental was much less important. Somebody had to be blamed.
You'd think that this has less to do with the language and more to do with the culture -- that maybe they're just less prone to throw around blame in Japan. So they did another experiment, this time with just the English speakers. They had them watch the infamous Janet Jackson boob flash during the Super Bowl a few years ago.
"Seriously? This pissed off millions of people?"
The group was then handed a report on the incident and told to come up with a punishment. Half of the group got a report with a very subtle difference in wording: at the end instead of reading "the costume ripped," it read Justin Timberlake "ripped the costume." The people who got the second report levied fines 50 percent higher than the others. Even though they had all watched the same video about the same incident. Just changing the phrasing to imply blame changed the way they thought about it.