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Numerous studies have identified a variety of negative consequences associated with the use of verbal aggression. This study examines the impact of verbal aggression in the instructional context as strategic verbal aggression. A self-report survey of 552 students enrolled in basic communication courses at West Virginia University was collected. Participants received measures reflecting the teacher's immediacy, competence, character, and perceived caring, as well as indices of the participants' argumentativeness, self-esteem, verbal aggressiveness, and Machiavellianism. Each Participant received a scenario reflecting either high/low intensity verbal aggression or high/low intensity no verbal aggression. Finally, participants were asked to evaluate the appropriateness, future behavioral intent, and motivation. Significant differences were found between each of the four conditions based on participant evaluations of the message. Both of the verbal aggression conditions were perceived less positively than the no verbal aggression conditions. High and low intensity verbal aggression conditions differed significantly indicating more positive evaluations in the high intensity condition for motivation F (3, 549) = 13.80, p < .001 and increased studying F (3, 549) = 6.30, p < .001. Additionally, perceived caring of the instructor was positively correlated with approval r = .19, p < .001 and motivation r = .24, p < .001 in the high intensity condition. Character was negatively correlated with approval r = −.27, p < .001 in the low intensity conditions. The results of this study indicate that the intensity of a verbal aggressive message is a significant contributor to receiver evaluations of the message. The moderate correlations found between source and receiver characteristics suggest that an additional variable may be necessary to better explicate the nature of the positive interpretation of verbally aggressive messages. The implications of this study as well as possible future directions are discussed.