there is a lack of validated instruments in colombia for measuring the dimensions of emotional states in a reliable way. for this reason, this study was aimed at validating four sets of images of the international affective picture system (iaps)in a colombian sample and comparing the results with those found in spanish and american samples in order to contribute to the instrument's cross-cultural validation. participants were 404 people (175 men and 229 women) who assessed, through the self-assessment manikin (sam), 238 images belonging to sets 13, 14, 19 and 20 of the iaps. results showed the classical boomerang-shaped distribution of the pictures within the affective space, demarcated by the valence and arousal dimensions. these results are consistent with those found in other countries such as the united states, spain, and belgium. there is a greater dispersion and less inclination in the positive pole than in the negative pole and significant differences between men and women in the arousal dimension, showing a greater activation in women. finally, these results are compared with those found in other countries and differences are identified in the dimensions of arousal and dominance, but not in valence. this supports the bio-informational model which states that valence is the main dimension around which emotions are organized. this research shows that the iaps is a valid and reliable instrument to measure emotions.