For example, doctors sometimes use humour to comfort patients but also to silence them if, for example, the patient displays too much knowledge of a medical condition.
From: "Humour is an 'act of aggression' - Telegraph"
Study published in the Journal of Pragmatics. Initial reactions reading this piece included:
1. Laughter - they're taking this way too seriously.
2. Head tilting - wait a minute, thinking of how I use humor in business settings in particular...they may be on to something.
Have you used or experienced humor in the medical setting (particularly sarcasm) in such a way that you feel the 'joker' is reasserting dominance? Fascinating thought...