Traditional behavioral theory would say that a person imitates and learns a behavior because the imitation has been positively reinforced in the past. Some research suggest that high status models are more likely to be imitated than low status ones.
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It is true that high status models are much likely to be imitated by the junior ones. This is because the appear as the ideal persons in terms of behavior to those who see positive attributes in their life such as success in life, fame and even popularity among other people. This is also because of the innate human nature that has been positively reinforced in the past. Imitation tends to be a vital aspect in the mastery of skills, language , behavior and other human attributes, thus humans find it an effective way of teaching their young ones through it. As a result, they grow with this attribute that perceptions are always influenced and therefore tend to relate every behavior with a role model that they chose and think fit.
Schunk, D. H. (1987). Peer models and children's behavioral change. Review of Educational Research, 57, 149-174.