The basic premise has been mentioned by everyone above: the basic instinct is to 'right the wrong', and if we see some indication tilted left, we instinctively want to move it right. It's possible to train for everything, but in stressful or confusing situations instincts will take over, it's just a question when.
The reverse ('Russian') indication didn't appear just out of the sense of opposition to the West; it was a product of extensive research. It's been proven that pilots make less mistakes with the reverse indication, from lab tests to the statistics of successful spiral dive recoveries.
Conversely, the direct ('Western') indication is more the result of gradual evolution: early AH had a gyro right in the central ball (or directly connected to it) that represents the horizon, and it naturally kept the 'true' horizon line. (Except that sky and ground were reversed, with the blue or white half at the bottom). And after all, it's just 'obvious' that Artificial Horizon should show, well, horizon!
But there is one more dimension to it. The mental picture of motion is different for different people. Some (apparently, about half or even the majority of) people perceive it better as them being at the origin and the world moving around them. This corresponds to the direct ('Western') indication, and such people must adapt to it more naturally. They also tend to use maps with 'track up' orientation.
Others view (or can easily imagine) themselves from the third person view, and they are more at home with the reverse (and 'north up') display. There was a research (I'd need to find a reference, but it will probably be in Russian) that fighter pilots with this second type of mind perform better in a dogfight.
That said, in a really stressful situation all the complicated mental pictures disintegrate, and the most basic instincts remain...