INTRODUCTION: The way in which emotional stimuli are processed and relate with cognition has many implications in the mental health field. As a result, there is a need for effective instruments that allow measuring emotion. OBJECTIVES: To create 20 sets of thematically, visually, and emotionally associated pictures using the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), and to select the most representative picture in each set; to investigate the correlation between associative factors (emotional, thematic, and visual); and to assess the emotional correlation between the 20 sets and Brazilian normative data. METHODS: A total of 353 participants evaluated the sets and defined to what degree the pictures in each set were associated with one another, and also which picture was the most representative of each set. RESULTS: Eighteen of the 20 sets presented high association results in the three factors assessed. Hierarchical representations were obtained for the 20 sets. There was a significant positive correlation between thematic and visual association (rho = 0.820; p < 0.01). Both valence (rho = 0.958) and arousal (rho = 0.836; p < 0.01) were significantly correlated with Brazilian norms in all 20 sets. CONCLUSIONS: The sets of associated pictures created and herein described may be useful to neuroscientists, due to the possibility of manipulating and controlling variables related to emotional processing, and may also contribute to investigations with a psychiatric focus.
IAPS; emotion; arousal; pictures; health evaluation