indeed. I recall how my little sister used to beat me devastatingly every time we played memories. Frustrating.
This is slightly off-topic but as we have rather a lot of people here with very early childhood memories: are these memories good or bad ones? (I have a theory that traumatic experiences tend to get remembered better and would like to test if it's true or false).
My first memory is fear of death: my dad threw me up into the air and I was scared I'd get smashed against the ceiling. I couldn't tell him to stop because I couldn't talk sufficiently yet, so I think I must have been around 18 months. I remember that I screamed and he misinterpreted that as a cheer and went on and on.
It's an interesting question, and I've never looked at any research into it, so I have no clue what the answer might be. I think this would be a difficult question to research for a number of reasons. Firstly, it could never be prospective. Secondly, it would rely on self-reporting, and people's memories are terrible. Thirdly, I can't think of a good way to blind the study so as not to influence the subjects when they're "remembering". I suppose you could survey people for their, say, 3 earliest memories, and then try to objectively qualify them as traumatic or neutral -- but how do you know what was traumatic for the individual in question? Maybe after they'd recorded the memories you could tell them to qualify them themselves...I don't know, I still see a lot of problems with it.
This is why I gravitated towards the brain science aspect of psychology...I was frustrated as hell by the (totally necessary) infringement of ethics on research methodology; Social Psychologists: "Oh, we have a really great theory! But we can't test it because it would be unethical!"