That is exactly how a large proportion of people feels about programming. "I don't know about programming; I can't say that I "get it"; I've never tried to write code [...] programs are things that I just "viscerally" like or dislike."
I think that there is definitely room for study here. What sorts of things do music instructors, for example, know about keeping beginner students motivated enough to keep practicing? Can we bring over some of those ideas to programming instruction?